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Levi’s partners with Evrnu to launch sustainable jeans

By Danielle Wightman-Stone



Levi Strauss and Co has partnered with textile technology startup Evrnu to create the world’s first pair of jeans made from recycled post-consumer cotton waste, using five discarded cotton T-shirts to create a pair of Levi’s 511 jeans.

The initiative, part of Levi’s sustainability strategy, has seen the denim brand using a new, patent-pending recycling technology that can convert consumer cotton waste into renewable fibres, as well as using 98 percent less water than virgin cotton products, according to Evrnu data. With cotton accounting for two-thirds of the water needed for denim manufacturing, this offers Levi’s the ability to reduce its global environmental impact.

Closing the loop has become a major issue in recent years, hardly surprising when each year in the US alone, 13.1 million tons of textile waste is created, with 11 million tons ending up in landfills, and this new Evrnu technology turning discarded cotton clothing into a new cotton-like fibre creates new possibilities.

Levi Strauss and Co, head of global product innovation, Paul Dillinger, said: “This first prototype represents a major advancement in apparel innovation. We have the potential to reduce by 98 percent the water that would otherwise be needed to grow virgin cotton while giving multiple lives to each garment.

“Although early days, this technology holds great promise and is an exciting advancement as we explore the use of regenerated cotton to help significantly reduce our overall impact on the planet.”

Evrnu chief executive officer Stacy Flynn, added: “Levi Strauss and Co was the perfect first partner for us to demonstrate our technology and capability as they are an iconic American company with a product that's recognised around the world.

“Our aspiration is to build a pair of Levi's jeans that are just as beautiful and strong as the original and we’re making great progress toward that goal.”

Founded in 2014, Evrnu is a social purpose textile startup based in Washington State, looking to address the environmental impact the garment industry currently leaves, and has tasked itself to create technologies that help close the loop on apparel manufacturing.

Image: Levi’s website

levi Strauss and co
Levi Strauss & Co