Photo by violentz

Few companies know denim as well as Levi Strauss, but even the century-old jean giant has its limits. In a life-cycle analysis of its signature pant, Levi’s learned that 60 percent of its jeans’ ecological impact occurs after they leave the store, most of which comes from drying. In fact, denim lovers can slash their jeans’ environmental footprint by half simply by washing them in cold water and line-drying them after. Yet most Americans choose gas or electric dryers over the great outdoors. That’s where you come in. Levi’s is looking for a few good air-drying solutions, and it’s offering $10,000 for the best ideas.

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The Care to Air Design Challenge, part of Levi’s updated sustainability program, expands on the denim label’s Care Tag for Our Planet campaign to encourage their customers to line-dry. Still, clotheslines remain more quaint than commonplace, whether it’s a matter of space, convenience, or aesthetics. Levi’s wants to challenge all three excuses by picking your brains for air-drying designs that are attractive, sustainable, and efficient.

Clotheslines are more quaint than commonplace, whether it’s because of convenience or aesthetics.

Submit your idea between now and July 31, 2010 for a shot at the prize money. The top five ideas, selected through public voting and a panel of judges, will each receive $500. In addition, the first-place winner will receive $4,500; the second, $1,500; the “crowd favorite,” $1,000; and the “most valuable community member,” $500.

+ Care to Air Design Challenge

+ Levi Strauss