This spring, municipal recycling programs across the United States can say they had a hand—or bottle, rather—in the creation of a new collection of denim from Levi’s® brand jeans. Levi’s® recently introduced their new Waste<Less™ collection that incorporates a minimum of 20% post-consumer waste, including recycled bottles and food trays, in each pair of jeans. The collection, available in the Spring 2013, will be available for both men and women, and represents the next chapter in the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainable design.
Photo courtesy Levi’s® brand.
“By adding value to waste, we hope to change the way people think about recycling, ultimately incentivizing them to do more of it,” said James Curleigh, global president of the Levi’s® brand. “This collection proves you don’t have to sacrifice quality, comfort or style to give an end a new beginning.”
According to Levi’s®, the Waste<Less™ collection will utilize over 3.5 million recycled bottles or an average of eight 12 to 20-ounce bottles per jean. Along with black food trays, brown beer bottles, green soda bottles and clear water bottles will be collected from municipal recycling programs across the U.S., sorted according to color and crushed into flakes. It will then be made into a polyester fiber, which will be combined with cotton fiber and finally woven with the traditional cotton yarn used to create Levi’s® denim.
“With this collection, we’re doing our own small part by taking waste and making something new from it,” added Curleigh. “We don’t just want to reduce our impact on the environment, we want to leave it better than we found it.”
The Waste<Less™ collection is only the latest initiative from Levi’s® to do more with less. In 2009, Levi Strauss & Co. introduced “A Care Tag for our Planet, an initiative to educate consumers on how to clean their clothes with less environmental impact as well as encouraging them to donate old jeans to Goodwill rather than throw them out. More recently, Levi’s® developed and implemented a new Water<Less™ technique, which reduces the amount of water used in the finishing process by up to 96% for some styles. Levi’s® reports the Water<Less™ technique saved over 360 million liters of water this year alone.
“We are committed to making products in ways that are good for people and better for our planet,” said Curleigh.
Levi’s® new initiative echoes Heartland’s commitment to environmental stewardship, as embodied in our LEED Platinum headquarters. Our green facility was designed not only to save energy, but also to have a minimal impact on the environment. The building uses one third less water than a similar building and includes unique features such as ceiling panels made from re-used wood bleacher seats and recycled tile and PaperStone countertops. To learn more, view our building brochure (5 MB PDF) or visit www.hcpd.com.
Levi’s® contributed to this article.