Writing, As You Know It, is Changing Again

Dirty (jeans) is the new clean, smaller is the new big

Nicole Akers
3 min readJun 3, 2021


Photo by Mica Asato from Pexels

Medium.com is changing again. Writer gossip says everything is upside down. Actions, as we know them, are about to change. Smaller is the new big. It means that those with staying power are about to get scrappy. Or become scrappier.

What do I mean by “scrappy”? Not disorganized or incomplete, as the definition would have you believe, but more this. Those who are scrappy have grit and staying power.

Great, but what does scrappy have to do with jeans? The point is about to become crystal clear.

Levi Strauss & Co. CEO Chip Bergh says dirty is the new clean. While referring to the jeans he was wearing, he said:

“These jeans are maybe a year old and these have yet to see a washing machine. I know it sounds disgusting … but I have yet to get a skin disease,” he said.

It would be a humorous statement, except it took to social media by storm and people took the comment like a challenge to see how long they could go without washing their jeans.

And others roughly calculated how many gallons of water they had saved by not washing their jeans. A competition ensued. And, likely, Levi and Strauss Company sold more jeans, but none of that was the point.

The point was about sustainability. Bergh wasn’t exactly proposing that we not wash our jeans, ever, but instead, that we wash them when necessary. This is more what he had in mind:

“My point at the conference, which by the way was all about sustainability, was to challenge the mindset that we need to throw everything into the washing machine after one or two wearings. I made this provocative statement because I believe strongly in what our brands stand for: quality, durability and lasting products made sustainably. I also said it because I believe we don’t need to wash jeans as often as most people think we do,” Bergh wrote.

Honestly, this is what my kids and I do with our jeans. We wash them as needed. Sometimes they toss in the dryer for a few minutes and then they get laid out to dry.

What does this have to do with writing?

The platform is revealing new tendencies about survival, and most of the “safe,” “clean” places many have come to rely on aren’t sustainable. They may have been clean, but they weren’t scrappy enough to continue in workable ways, at least not to the powers that be.

We’re going through growing pains again and everything we know points to smaller being the new big because these places were built with sustainability.

Smaller is the new big. Dirty is the new clean. Scrappy is possibly the best way to grow.

Hold on to your pants and wash them when necessary. It’s about to get interesting.

Get my book, Make Money on Medium: Build Your Audience & Grow Your Income, because you owe it to yourself, and let’s stay in touch.



Nicole Akers

Teacher | Happy Mom of 2 brings amazing tips on parenting, learning, & lifestyle | 🐶 Mom | Bestselling Author | Founder of Publishous. Keep that smile.