Green Jeans by Levi’s?


In the US we have a deep love for our blue jeans (and purple, teal, bright blue, and black jeans as well). What we may not love so much is the extensive list of chemicals and inputs needed to make our beloved pants.

Green Jean Pioneers

Now, there have been a great many “eco jeans” that have entered the market over the past 5 years. From organic cotton to fair trade to ‘greener colors’, retailers have been trying to unlock the sustainable jeans market. Bono from U2 has his own sustainable clothing line that features fair trade and organic cotton jeans. Even major designers have organic lines. But did you know that dark jeans are better than light jeans? Why you ask? Because of the chemicals used. Light jeans require more harsh chemicals to lighten or “weather” them. That simple switch can save a few gallons of chemicals from entering the waste stream! But do your jeans literally need and use less water? Well, do they?

Levi’s Green Jeans…Water<Less

Levi’s has been on a mission to promote more sustainable practices with their customers. From their extensive line-drying campaign to their 501 jeans, they have been leading the way as a large clothing manufacturer. Their new Water<less jeans focus on the manufacturing process. Their jeans now use 28 – 96% less water to manufacture. Why do jeans need water in the first place? Water is used during the finishing process, an average of 42 liters per pair of jeans. Yikes! This “finishing” process washes jeans 3-10 times to provide unique and comfortable jeans. How did they do it? Instead of using multiple wet cycles, they condensed it into a single wet process. Not too bad for efficiency’s sake!

Of course Levi’s is not new to these types of efficiencies. They have already undertaken steps to remove almost all water from its finishing process a few years ago. They are on track to be the top producer of jeans made from the least amount of water.

How do I get my Hands on these Water<Less Jeans?

Well you will have to do some post-Holiday shopping. The first collection is set to hit stores in January 2011 and include over a dozen classic Levi jeans and jackets. And come Spring time, if you are in the market for new jeans, they will have 1.5 million pairs that were manufactured using this method just waiting for you. How much water will you have helped save? 16 MILLION Liters of water. Come Fall of 2011, they hope to expand their reduced water use techniques to several other factories and plants.

Levi’s is really doing their part in this regard to fight peak water as it continues to loom on the horizon for developed nations and already plagues some developing nations. These steps are quite advanced given that there has been no regulation nor extreme instances of negative press surrounding these issues. This progressive movement is one indicator that Levi’s is making progress out of their own volition to create sustainable products that last.

Interested in these jeans? I am going to check them out come January to see if there is a noticeable difference in the jeans from their ‘water hog’ counterparts ;)

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  1. Wow 42 liters for every pair of jeans?? That is crazy. Well I’m glad Levi’s is taking the initiative to change how wasteful their industry is. Now if only they could get all other manufacturers to follow suit.

  2. I read the story about 2 weeks ago, This is great news for the environment. I can only hope other Jean companies follow their lead!

  3. Good to see a company like Levi make more efficient strides like this, I am sure other companies will follow soon!

    Till then,


    • Yes, I also hope that my favorite Jeans companies Wrangler and Pepe also follow suit.

      • @Komodo, Yeah I am sure they will soon follow suit, it usually happens that way, one company leads the way!


  4. I was not aware that denim production was normally such a wasteful industry. Consumers truly are ignorant of where all their products come from. Educating consumers is key to changing these wasteful industries.

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