Levi's pours plastic waste into a new range of denim

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Launching globally in January 2013, the new Levi's Waste Less denim collection will incorporate recycled plastic into jeans and jackets. The company sees this as the next step in its sustainable design initiative.

Each Waste Less product will include a minimum of 20 percent post-consumer recycled content, or, on average, eight 12 to 20-ounce bottles per jean.

"From the beginning, we have designed our products with purpose and intent. 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. "This collection proves that you don't have to sacrifice quality, comfort or style to give an end a new beginning."

The Waste Less collection will use more than 3.5 million recycled bottles. Through the company's partners, PET plastic, or polyethylene terephthalate materials – including brown beer bottles, green soda bottles, clear water bottles and black food trays – are collected through municipal recycling programs across the United States.

The bottles and food trays are sorted by color, crushed into flakes, and made into a polyester fiber. Next, the polyester fiber is blended with cotton fiber, which is finally woven with traditional cotton yarn to create the denim. The color of the bottles used adds a beautiful undertone to the denim fabric creating a unique finish in the final product.

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Levi's Waste Less products will be available in Levi's stores globally and on Levi.com in January 2013. The range for men includes 511 Skinny jeans, a new modern-looking 504 Straight Fit jean, and the Trucker jacket. For women, Levi's Boyfriend Skinny jeans in a progressive fit will be available in the U.S. and Europe.

Levi's is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (http://bettercotton.org), which reduces water and pesticide use during the cotton growing process, and economically supports hundreds of thousands of cotton farmers. To date, LS&Co. has blended Better Cotton into more than 5 million pairs of jeans.


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