Hands up if you own Levi jeans. You don’t? Well, then you’ve been missing out my friend.

Levis are literally the BEST, jeans, EVER, invented.

Not only do they make your booty look fricking awesome, they’re now super eco-friendly and water conscious to boot.

What most people don’t know (or think about) is how much energy and water it takes to make everyday items, like a rocking pair of jeans, a fridge full of food, or a bottle of water.

Levi investigates water usage

Levi conducted a Lifecycle Assessment of their 501 jeans (an industry-first) and found that 3,781 litres of water is used in its full lifecycle – from growing cotton, through manufacturing, care at home and end of life disposal.

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In a world where we’re taking more from groundwater sources than what is being replenished,  and one in ten people do not have access to clean, safe drinking water. Using over 8 litres of water to manufacture the average grab-and-go plastic bottle, or 3,781 litres of water on a pair of Levi jeans (even if they are bootylicious) is pure madness!

In a drive to “become the world’s most sustainable apparel company” forward-thinking Levi have tapped into their pool of creative designers to innovate a new line of “WaterLess” jeans that, wait for it, use up to 96% less water than their standard jeans.

And, while Levi WaterLess products may only account for a small percentage of their apparel currently.  I’m loving that by 2020 the goal is for 80% of Levi’s products to be made using WaterLess innovations.

That’s all very exciting but “how exactly are Levi WaterLess jeans made different?” you may well ask.

The difference is in the detail

It starts with the cotton grown for the jean material. In discovering that 70% of water used in a jean’s lifecycle, goes on cotton production, Levi set up the Better Cotton Iniative (BCi) to make cotton sourcing more ethical and sustainable, and helping to educate farmers on more water efficient growing practises. Levi claim that BCI uses 18% less water that other non-BCI farmers in similarly arid locations. Currently, 12% of their total cotton is sourced through BCI, up from 7% in 2014 and with a goal of 100% by 2020.

Once they’ve sourced the cotton, Levi then manufacture the jeans using less water than regular jeans. To date, they claim to have “saved more than 1 billion litres of water” using innovative finishing techniques. As well as 30 millions litres of fresh water through water recycling in factories. Similarly to Patagonia, Levi WaterLess innovations have been made publicly available to encourage adoption among other apparel brands.

“By utilising our WaterLess innovations, we believe the apparel industry can save at least 50 billion litres of water by 2020”
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It doesn’t stop there

After Levi have hung their jeans out for sale, their water-saving efforts are over right? Nope, it’s then on to water education.

Employees are taught about the impact their clothing has on the planet and how to change daily behaviour to conserve water. And consumers are encouraged to make water savings, by being more conscious of the way we care for, and dispose of our jeans.

According to Levi research: just wearing jeans more before washing; washing cold; and line drying can produce massive water and energy savings.

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By taking the “Are You Ready to Come Clean” consumer quiz you can find out the water footprint of your washing habits.

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Hurrah for Levi!

It’s incredible to see a leading apparel company take a such a vested interest in protecting water resources.

By investigating the issues, discovering key areas for improvement and generating solutions to improve the industry. Levi have shown themselves to be a leader in sustainable fashion and water education.

Already a fan of Levis exceptional fit and styling, Made of Water will only be buying Levi WaterLess jeans until other jean retailers catch up.

Final note: while Levi’s WaterLess approach is right on the money. Less so is their attempt to convey the message with this artsy, hipster video of a couple cuddling in a shower as water rains down around them. Slightly missing the water-saving point me thinks. Nice try though.