The Levi’s® Brand Introduces more Sustainable WaterLess Jeans

SAN FRANCISCO (November 3, 2010) – The Levi’s®brand today announced its new Water<Less jeans – made using significantly less water. The average pair of jeans uses 42 litres of water in the finishing process.  The Water<Less collection reduces the water consumption by an average of 28% and up to 96% for some new products in the line.

“We challenged ourselves to operate at the intersection of style and sustainability. These Water<Less jeans have great styles and finishes, but are made with a lot less water,” said Erik Joule, Senior Vice President of Merchandising and Design of the Levi’s® brand. “We’re excited about the results we’ve achieved so far, and we know we can make an even bigger impact by applying this innovative thinking to other aspects of our production process.”

During the production process, a typical pair of jeans are “finished” inlarge washing machines and dryers to create a unique look and feel. Using traditional garment washing methods, the average pair of jeans undergoes 3-10 washing cycles – adding up to approximately 42 litres of water per unit. 

Levi’s®Water <Less jeans have reduced the water consumption in the finishing process by making simple changes to the process.

Some examples:

- Reducing the number of washing machine cycles by combining multiple wet cycle processes into a single wet process
- Incorporate ozone processing into the garment washing
- Removing the water from the stone wash

“What’s different about the Water<Less collection is that we’re still using the same materials and techniques to create finishes for our jeans but we’ve substantially  reduced water’s role in the equation,” said Carl Chiara, Director of Brand Concepts and Special Projects of the Levi’s® brand. “Sometimes, the way to achieve a more sustainable design is to rethink a traditional process and find a way to do it better.”

The first collection of Water<Less products will be available in January of 2011 and will include over a dozen classic Levi’s® jeans, including the Levi’s® 501® jeans and the popular 511 and 514 jeans, as well as the Levi’s® trucker jacket.

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.

The Levi’s® brand will continue to introduce these finishing techniques to even more supplier factories around the world with the goal of increasing the numbers significantly in Fall 2011.

Water<Less is just one way the Levi’s® brand is working to reduce the environmental impact of its products. Recent Levi Strauss & Co. research shows that during the lifecycle of a pair of Levi’s® 501® jeans, the largest water impact comes from the cotton growing process and through the laundry habits of consumers after they leave our stores. As a company, Levi Strauss & Co. is making strides in these key areas – from supporting more sustainable ways to grow cotton to monitoring how suppliers use water in the manufacturing process.

The company also launched the “Care Tag for Our Planet” campaign, changing the product care tags in Levi’s® jeans to include instructions about ways consumers can reduce the environmental impact of their clothes by washing less, washing in cold water, line drying and donating to Goodwill™ when no longer needed.


The Levi’s® brand epitomizes classic American style and effortless cool. Since their invention by Levi Strauss in 1873, Levi’s® jeans have become the most recognizable and imitated clothing in the world – capturing the imagination and loyalty of people for generations. Today, the Levi’s® brand portfolio continues to evolve through a relentless pioneering and innovative spirit that is unparalleled in the apparel industry. Our range of leading jeanswear and accessories are available in more than 110 countries, allowing individuals around the world to express their personal style. For more information about the Levi’s® brand, its products and stores, please visit

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