Levi Srauss & Co. is holding a design competition to reduce the carbon footprint of their jeans—on the consumer end, at least. The company hired a third party to assess their products' carbon footprints, and learned that "60 percent of the climate impact comes during the consumer phase," mostly when using conventional machine dryers after washes. Levi's Care to Air Design Challenge invites you to create a method or apparatus for drying jeans (and other clothes) that is "stylish, sustainable, and effective" and uses little or no energy.
I don't know what Levi's is actually doing to reduce the sizable production side of the environmental equation, other than that the company says it "is taking strides to bring its carbon footprint down to zero and build sustainability into everything they do." Regardless, I love the idea of promoting clothesline drying, which is a great practice and probably even makes a pair of jeans last longer. And I would love to know of new ways to use the time-honored technique in a small apartment or an area without a lot of sun.
If you can devise a clever air drying concept, submit your idea by July 31, 2010. The winning entry will earn $10,000. See all the entries (like the above windmill that generates power while drying your clothes) here.
Read the full rules and regulations here (PDF).