Fashion

Water-Reducing Jeans Production

As part of the company’s sustainability focus, Levi Strauss & Co’s Water<Less collection focuses on reducing the amount of water needed to produce jeans, right from cotton production to the sales room. The company has performed two life cycle assessments on their products, and estimate to have saved over a billion liters of freshwater through a number of initiatives.

Just for perspective, that’s about enough water saved to provide drinking water for the city of New York for more than a month. It’s not inconsequential, that’s a lot of water.

Chip BerghPresident and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co.

At the farm level, the company invests in farmers registered with the Better Cotton Initiative, who use up to 18% less water on their farms. At the production level, the Water<Less scheme uses up to 96% less water in the finishing processes by recycling and reusing water. The company have made these water saving innovations publically available, encouraging industry-wide participation in water saving.

Why you should care

From start to finish, the average pair of jeans requires 7,000 liters of water per life cycle. Considering cotton farms are often found in water stressed regions of the world, this is a serious threat to the freshwater needs of agriculture, sanitation, drinking water and other industries. Levi Strauss & Co claim to have cut that figure to 3,781 liters for a regular pair by using responsibly farmed cotton and innovative production technologies, while savings for the Water<Less jeans are substantially higher.

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