Levi Strauss Displays its Results of Water Use in its Value Chain

Editorial TeamEditorial Team
September 26th, 2022
3:55 PM

By 2025, Levi Strauss & Co. will use 50% less water in the manufacturing of its classic jeans.

Fast fashion, the “buy, use and throw away” trend, also threatens the health of the planet. In 15 years, textile production has doubled worldwide and, warns the UN, already generates 8% of greenhouse gas emissions. What's more, clothes need water. A lot of water. More than 20,000 litres have been used to make our daily attire. Producing a single pair of jeans requires between 2,100 and 3,000 litres of water, which is equivalent to the amount a person drinks in seven years. Levi Strauss & Co's is one of the big brands dedicated to the manufacture of clothing, which leads to the disproportionate use of water. This is why it created the “Water" programme which has given results such as Recycling almost 9.6 billion litres of water in its design and manufacturing processes, saving up to 96% of water in the finishing process of its jeans, 70% of Levi's jeans are created with Water, saving more than 4 billion litres of water in the manufacturing process of garments. Clothing brand Levi Strauss & Co. has announced the manufacture of 100,000 pairs of women's jeans using 100% recycled water - a total saving of around 12 million litres of the resource. The company worked with one of its suppliers in China to build a system that can recycle the water used in the finishing process and hopes to expand it throughout its value chain. Levi Strauss claims that this water recycling can occur over and over again, significantly reducing the total amount of water used to make its products.  

  The water is used during the finishing process - how the different washes of jeans are created, from the darkest to the lightest. According to the company, Levi Strauss was the first in the industry to implement water recycling systems. In 1994 they pioneered water effluent quality requirements. The brand was invented by Levi Strauss & Co in 1873 and is available in more than 110 countries around the world. Manufacturing jeans with 100% recycled water is something that the brand is incredibly proud of. The company has introduced a new industry standard for water recycling and reuse in garment manufacturing for its supplier factories around the world. To achieve this, the company worked with one of its suppliers in China to build a system that can recycle all the water used in the finishing process. In addition to using GOTS and Organic Content Standard certified materials, as well as Supima cotton.  

  Levi's Pledged to Produce its Classic Jeans with less Water In 2011, Levis established more than 20 different water reducing manufacturing techniques, which allowed them to produce the same jeans while reducing liquid consumption. So far, they have saved more than 3 billion litres and recycled another 5 billion litres. The company aims to reduce water in high-stress areas by 50% and 80% of factories will use Water Less. Levi’s intends to hit these targets for 2025. Just as the company aims to use less water, it also invites consumers to save the liquid in the process of washing jeans. That is why it recommends washing the product less frequently. This preserves the color, the fabric and a lot of water if we wait longer to turn on the washing machine. Aware that we’re fighting a global water crisis, it’s estimated that 45 cities worldwide, or 470 million inhabitants, will be classified as high stress by 20430 meaning that the demand for water is greater than what is available. That's why the company will adjust its water use in every city where it has manufacturing locations.