New Levi's jeans will be 20 percent plastic bottle


October 31, 2012

Levi's will incorporate 3.5 million bottles into its Wastealterfalter/Shutterstock)

Levi's will incorporate 3.5 million bottles into its Wastealterfalter/Shutterstock)

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American clothing maker and denim specialist Levi Strauss & Co. has announced a new collection of denim apparel, including jeans, that will be comprised of a minimum 20 percent of plastics recycled from drinks bottles and food trays.

Levi's says that it is working with partners in the recycling sector to recover polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics, brown, green and clear drinks bottles as well as black plastic food trays. Having been sorted according to color, these are crushed (or, er, pelletized) into flakes and then drawn into polyester fiber which can be blended with cotton fiber before being woven with cotton yarn.

Because the color of the plastic is retained through the recycling process, the denim apparel takes on a hue (which Levi's describes it as a "beautiful undertone") – presumably according to the color of plastic chosen for the particular garment, rather than a muddy mixture of the lot.

Levi's says that an average of eight bottles (sized 12–20 oz.) will go into each pair of jeans. Given Levi's claim that the collection will make use of 3.5 million bottles, that mean the collection should include roughly half a million garments.

The company has announced that the collection, known as Waste<Less, will be available January 2013. The range is to be shipped worldwide, so those living outside the US (Levi's has confirmed to us the range will be made in North Carolina) and drawn to the sustainable credentials may wish to factor in air miles…

Source: Levi's, via Treehugger

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life. All articles by James Holloway

This is not so much news as marketing.


Any news about recycling pet bottles is good news.


I wonder if after every washing of the jeans, is there leaching of plastic molecules into the water system?


Marilyn Harris

Now if they would just produce their jeans in America instead of China!

Jerry Peavy

need to bring back the Tuffskins jeans fabric- wear em for a decade or better and they still look new. cuffed super-bells.....


My misses wants to know if they're water proof?

Richard Handel
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