New Jeans. Incredible Finishes. Less Water.

Levi Strauss & Co.
November 3, 2010

Here’s how it all started. A team of us – all designers – went to one of our laundries and told the folks there that we wanted to do the most incredible denim finishing we’d ever done – but we didn’t want to use water.

If you’re into blue jeans like I am, you know that’s a tall order.

I mean, anyone can create a jean using less water. But the challenge is using innovative techniques to create the finishes customers want…without using a lot of water.

We believe we’ve done both.

Today, the Levi’s® brand is announcing our new Water<Less jeans, which are made using less water. Significantly less.

How much so?

Well, the average pair of jeans uses 42 liters of water in the finishing process. With Water<Less, we’ve reduced that the amount of water by an average of 28%. And in some products, we’ve cut it by 96%.

What’s cool is that we’re still using the same materials and techniques to create the same great styles and finishes our customers love – and that we love, too – but we’ve reduced water’s role.

We asked our designers to do things differently. And they did!

One example. We used to add stones to washing machines that were full of water to achieve a certain finish. Now, with the Water<Less process, we add stones to the washing machine without the water. The result…just as effective, but far more efficient.

In a nutshell, we rethought the traditional process and found a way to do it better – more sustainably.

Why is this important?

In the lifecycle of a pair of Levi’s® 501® jeans, we’ve found that the largest water impact comes from the cotton growing process and through the laundry habits of consumers, after they leave our stores.

But we can’t ask our suppliers and consumers to change their behaviors unless we’re also willing to make some changes ourselves.

The first Water<Less products will be in stores in January. They’ll include more than a dozen classic Levi’s® jeans, as well as the Trucker jacket.

We’re also including our “old school” Rigid finish products under the Water<Less label. We use almost no water to produce them.

I can’t wait for you to see Water<Less…try them on and take them home. I think you’ll agree that the finishes are incredible.

And if you know anything about how blue jeans are made, I think you’ll be pretty surprised that we were able to accomplish so much…with so little water.