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The Levi’s brand will unveil today a new line of men’s and women’s denim made in part from recycled plastic bottles and food trays. Each pair of jeans in the Waste<Less collection will include a minimum of 20 percent post-consumer recycled content, which amounts to about eight 12- to 20-ounce plastic bottles in each pair of jeans.
This story first appeared in the October 16, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Waste<Less designs will launch globally in Levi’s stores and on levi.com in January. The jeans will retail for $69 to $128.
“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, a unit of San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co. “This collection proves that you don’t have to sacrifice quality, comfort or style to give an end a new beginning.”
More than 3.5 million recycled bottles will be incorporated into the spring Waste<Less product line. The men’s assortments, which will be available globally, will include a 511 skinny jean, a new modern-look 504 straight fit jean and a trucker jacket. For women, a “boyfriend skinny” style will be available in the U.S. and Europe.
The recycled plastic, collected from municipal recycling programs, is transformed into polyester fibers and then woven into traditional cotton yarns by Cone Denim for Levi’s. The colors of the brown beer bottles and green soda bottles help add a unique undertone to the denim, according to Levi’s.
The Waste<Less launch builds on a number of environmental initiatives undertaken by Levi’s in the past few years, including the introduction in 2010 of a Water<Less collection that reduces water usage in the finishing process by up to 96 percent in some styles of denim.