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Levi’s pursues sustainable fit with eco-denim

Global – With its new line of jeans, called WasteLess, apparel powerhouse Levi’€™s has unveiled new denim designs which incorporate post-consumer waste. Containing discarded plastic bottles and plastic trays, each denim item will include a ‘€˜minimum of 20% post-consumer recycled content or, on average, eight 12- to 20-ounce bottles per jean’€™, Levi’€™s has stated.

The materials used by the brand, which even include brown beer bottles, are collected through municipal recycling programmes across the USA. The plastics are then sorted by colour, converted into flakes, and made into a polyester fibre which is blended with cotton fibre and woven together with ‘€˜traditional’€™ cotton yarn.

The jeans giant hopes its new initiative will help pave the way for a mature eco-fashion market. ‘€˜By adding value to waste, we hope to change the way people think about recycling, ultimately incentivising them to do more of it,’€™ remarks the Global President of the Levi’€™s brand James Curleigh. ‘€˜This collection proves that you don’€™t have to sacrifice quality, comfort or style to give an end a new beginning’€™.

Levi’€™s observes: ‘€˜The colour of the bottles used adds a beautiful undertone to the denim fabric, creating a unique finish in the final product.’€™ Consumers will be able to judge the result in the new year as the collection is scheduled to hit store shelves by early 2013 in the USA and Canada, with global access via the brand’€™s on-line store.

In 2007, Levi’€™s was the first in the apparel industry to conduct a life-cycle assessment of the products in its portfolio. On discovering that nearly 50% of the water used to make a pair of jeans was consumed by the cotton farmers, it decided to channel its energy into launching a low-water cotton collection in 2010 known as WaterLess. 

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