Levi Strauss Aims To Use Less Water In Jeans-Making Process

We all love our favorite pair of worn-in jeans, but sadly, there's bad news: your cherished denim might not be so great for Mother Nature.

Esteemed denim house Levi Strauss is concerned about the environmental impact of their own product, as the New York Times discusses in an article today: the company released a statement saying the typical pair of blue jeans consumes 919 gallons of water during its lifespan, or the equivalent of 15 spa-size bathtubs. That's a lot of H20 going into your skinnies.

To help fight back against the perils of climate change and water shortages, Levi Strauss is instituting a new non-profit curriculum as part of their WaterLess initiative that teaches farmers in India, Brazil and other places where jeans are manufactured how to save water. One tactic they've tried: stonewashing jeans with rocks only, and not with water.

Levi's has produced almost 1.5 million pairs of jeans for its spring line while saving 16 million liters of water in the process, reports Environmental Leader.

Part of the program's initiative is also to develop new irrigation methods. Levi's has introduced a drip system that pumps water directly to each plants' roots, a technique that conserves water and fertilizer and also produces fewer weeds, reducing the need for pesticide. The company says that about 5 percent of the cotton used in the two million pairs of jeans the company shipped to stores this fall was grown with this drip irrigation method, and they're aiming for 20 percent by 2015.

Levi Strauss also recommends that eco-minded consumers wash their jeans "rarely,"
saying that instead, jeans lovers should put theirs in the freezer, which will kill the germs that cause them to smell.

Hmm...we're wondering if Levi's will organify its ex-girlfriend jeans. Either way, it's great to see such a huge corporation taking practical steps to ameliorate the harmful effects of mass clothing production.

Maybe this new initiative can make Glenn Beck change his mind on his one-man Levi's boycott, although we don't have our fingers crossed.

Read more at the NY Times.