Levi's Jeans to Go 'Water Less'


The way that most of the 450 million pairs of jeans purchased yearly in the U.S. are manufactured is, well, less than ecologically sound. And now, companies like Levi’s are attempting to lessen the impact of their product — and the bad press the anti-eco effects of denim draws.

To that effect, the iconic brand has just announced a collection called Water<Less, which will be available in January 2011. Typically, the washing processes that make a pair of jeans seem soft, distressed, or whiskered require enormous amounts of fresh water. With this new release, Levi’s claims it will use far less water.

From the press release announcing the move: “The Levi’s® spring 2011 product lines will contain more than 1.5 million pairs of jeans with the Water<Less method, saving approximately 16 million litres of water. The line will also include jeans made with brand’s traditional rigid finish which, by its nature, utilizes virtually no water in its production.”

Levi’s director of brand concepts, Carl Chiara, describes the thought process behind Water<Less. Video via PSFK

Levi’s isn’t the only denim company concerned with sustainability. Labels like Edun and James Jeans have long been utilizing organically-grown cotton in their production; other brands, like Nudie, encourage customers to wash their denim as little as possible after purchasing (and now a whole denim subculture has arisen around this concept of almost never washing your jeans). Still, conserving water during the production cycle is a new approach, and one that Levi’s hopes will resonate with eco-conscious customers.

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