What a total hipster — but a hipster for science. University of Alberta student Josh Le had a pair of skinny jeans that he liked. So he wore them for 15 months to see what would happen. So, what happened? Both predictable and unpredictable things!The jeans, made of “raw denim,” are not treated with chemicals like most jeans are and are supposed to form to the wearer’s body over time. And while I’m sure that this is what Le was testing out, I have to think that he was also wondering how gross a pair of jeans would get if you didn’t wash them for over a year. I think we all reach into our closets and wonder this, especially when we don’t feel like doing laundry and triage our wardrobe using our sense of smell.
But Le was genuinely curious in this case, as opposed to lazy. So, for 15 months, he wore the same pair of jeans (it’s not clear how often he wore the jeans) and at the end of the experiment, he swabbed them for bacteria before and after finally washing them. The result? Hardly any difference.
In all, there were five kinds of skin bacteria in the jeans, and mostly in the crotch area, where between 8,500 and 10,000 bacterial units per square centimetre were found. However, [his professor Rachel] McQueen said because Le was healthy, with no skin problems or cuts, there was no health concern.
Great! And what about the smell? He threw the jeans in the freezer. So that works.