Tuesday, April 19th, 2011...12:00 pm

How Levi’s is combining style with sustainability

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First, a contest!

From now through Earth Day, this Friday, Levi’s is running a contest that I thought some of you might be interested in. To enter, just tweet about how YOU combine style and sustainability, whether you’re wearing vintage or building a sustainable wardrobe or reviving old furniture, and include the hashtag #SWTC (as the contest is being hosted by Levi’s Shape What’s to Come). Three winners will each get a Levi’s Sustainable Fashion pack. More details here.

I don’t usually blog about things like this giveaway. But I thought it was worth sharing among all the advancements Levi’s has been making recently — in both the environmental and social spaces. Notably…

Levi’s Water<Less

This spring, Levi’s is saving more than 16 million gallons of water through the manufacturing of their Water<Less jeans, which employ some simple but out-of-the-ordinary water-saving steps in the finishing process of the jeans. Most jeans are washed three to ten times in industrial machines in the finishing process, but Levi’s combined several steps that have cut water use by an average of 28% per pair in the line. And for a company the size of Levi’s, that adds up!

In addition, Levi’s is encouraging us to use less water washing our jeans once we have them home, and they’re working with water.org to donate clean drinking water to communities around the world.

My only complaint is that the Water<Less jeans only come in men’s cuts so far!

Levi’s “B” grade on labor from the Not For Sale Campaign

Earlier this year the Not For Sale Campaign released a smart phone app that rates about 40 brands according to their labor rights. Brands are given a grade from A through F, and I haven’t clicked on them all, but I haven’t seen an A grade yet — though Levi’s ranks among the highest with a B! And when it comes to rankings based on labor issues, the Not For Sale Campaign is a source I trust. Download the app here.

And great fit, too!

Last fall Levi’s did a promo here in SF for their new Curve ID jeans — which included a performance at Union Square by She & Him! I didn’t get there early enough to get a free pair, but I got a 30% off coupon that I used afterward. And the jeans are excellent. Not only do they run a bit big, so that you end up with a pair ONE to TWO sizes smaller than your usual jeans (psychological win!), I dare say they fit as well as premium denim… pairs of which I’ve spent three times more on. They’re still my “weekend jeans,” but I feel a lot better in them than in many pairs of jeans I’ve put on.

I got mine at the Levi’s Store on Union Square in downtown SF, which also includes a repair shop that has come in handy for fixing some of Jon’s jeans.

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