For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been dabbling in (with the help of Seventh Generation) the art of urban line-drying. I’ll be blogging about my trials and tribulations in early July but I can tell you right now that as an apartment-dwelling, laundromat-relying urbanite without a backyard, it hasn't been easy.

Although my line-drying skills are admittedly shaky, there is one thing that I never send through the dryer at my local laundromat: denim. Still, realizing that many folks do choose to dry their jeans in an energy-guzzling machine at home or in a laundromat, Levi Strauss & Co. has partnered with Myoo Create to launch the Care to Air Design Challenge, a call for the “the world’s most innovative, covetable, and sustainable air-drying solution for clothing.”

The motivating factor for the challenge? A third-party lifecycle assessment on a pair of Levi’s 501 jeans that revealed 60 percent of the climate impact is created during the consumer phase with 80 percent of that due to energy-intensive drying. Yikes.

Reads the official Care to Air Design Challenge page:

The most effective way to reduce the climate impact of a pair of jeans is to air dry, yet the average U.S. household chooses a dryer. Some communities have even banned clotheslines, calling them unsightly. Well, Levi Strauss & Co. would like to challenge that point of view by finding clothesline designs or other innovative air drying solutions that are undeniably stylish, sustainable and effective.
Levi’s is offering $10,000 (first prize gets a nice chunk of change: $4,500) to be distributed among five finalists voted on by Myoo community members and picked by a panel of judges based on aesthetics, scalability, environmental sustainability, and ingenuity. The entry deadline is July 31, so if you have a concept that you’d like to submit, get going. If you’re not the designing-type but are passionate about air-drying, check out all the entries submitted so far and vote for your favorite. The five finalists will be announced on Aug. 16. 
Via [GreenBiz]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.