Levi’s Recycled Jeans Will Keep 3.5M Plastic Bottles Out Of The Landfill

What’s better than a pair of perfectly-fitting jeans? A perfectly-fitting pair of jeans that also help eliminate the plastic garbage that’s choking our planet, of course! Levi’s, the American denim manufacturer that’s been making our favorite jeans for over 100 years, recently introduced a new collection of denim that incorporates post-consumer waste, specifically recycled plastic bottles and food trays.

The Levi’s Waste<Less line of denim products are designed to exemplify all of the latest fashion trends while also helping to alleviate the massive influx of plastic waste to our landfills, and ultimately, our oceans. The new line builds on a foundation of conservation started by Levi’s Water<Less jeans.


Image via Levi Strauss

According to the company, each Levi’s Waste<Less product will include a minimum of 20 percent post-consumer recycled content, which averages out to about eight 12 to 20-ounce plastic bottles per pair of jeans. Of course, this isn’t the first time that a clothing designer has found a way to incorporate PET plastic, or polyethylene terephthalate materials, into their garments. But Levi’s isn’t your average clothing designer, and with an international reach, the Waste<Less line has the potential to make a big impact on fashionistas everywhere.

The PET plastic for Levi’s jeans – including brown beer bottles, green soda bottles, clear water bottles and black food trays – are collected through municipal recycling programs across the United States. After being sorted and crushed, the polyester fiber is blended with cotton fiber, which is finally woven with traditional cotton yarn by Cone Denim to create the denim in Levi’s jeans and jackets.

The company estimates that the Spring 2013 Levi’s Waste<Less collection will utilize over 3.5 million recycled bottles. The Spring 2013 men’s products, which will be available globally, will feature Levi’s 511 Skinny jeans, a new modern-looking Levi’s 504 Straight Fit jean, and the iconic Levi’s Trucker jacket. For women, Levi’s Boyfriend Skinny jeans in a progressive fit will be available in the U.S. and Europe.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog


  • Reply October 19, 2012

    Scott Seydel

    This is encouraging because the healthier the market for recycled plastic pop and water bottles, the higher the value of this precious resource and the more likely it will be that it will be diverted from the solid waste stream. However, Levi’s jeans won’t keep the bottles out of the landfill. Rather their production will use those plastic bottles and trays that we’re successful in diverting from the landfill back to processors who clean and flake them so that they can be sold to fiber manufacturers who melt and extrude them, chop them into short fibers and then sell them to yarn spinners who blend the fibers with cotton, spin and indigo dye the yarn, and then weave it into denim fabrics sold to Levi’s confectioners who cut and sew the fabric into jeans. That Levi is specifying yarns that have a 20% recycled content won’t increase the diversion of plastic bottles from landfills. Only consumers can do this, and they are more likely to do it in states where deposits can be redeemed by returning bottles to merchants or collection kiosks. See: http://www.container-recycling.org

  • Reply October 22, 2012


    is this a joke? you are creating a blend that can not be recycled and will no longer break down naturally, the plastic can be recycled the cotton recycled your monstrous hybrid can not

    • Reply October 22, 2012

      Christ Jan Wijtmans

      And what exactly is your proof that this blend can not be recycled? Or are you just a shouting monkey?

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