It is no news that most US garment production has moved offshore to countries such as China, India, Bangladesh to take advantage of low production costs. And along with that decision rise questions of whether or not vendors and factories involved in the manufacturing processes comply with ethical, environment and social standards that create the “true” sustainable products.
Moving offshore does not imply fewer challenges for the apparel companies, but more intricate responsibilities to ensure that “making profits” can be done without compromising the quality of life of those involved in the process, as well as the future of the environment. In order to address these social challenges, the American Denim giant, Levi Strauss, launched its Water<Less jeans collection in 2011 – designed to reduce the water used in the finishing process by an average of 28 percent and up to 96 percent – and its 100% recycled water standard, a first for the apparel industry.
If the new Water<Less jeans can really save water? Well, Levi’s announced during the World Water Day on March 22 this year that the line has saved over 770 million liters of water — enough to supply drinking water for 811,000 people for one year — since its launch. The company also planned to make extra 9 million units of the Water<Less jean, saving 71 million liters of water, according to Environmental Leader.
During the full product cycle of Levi’s single pair of typical 501 jeans more than 3,000 liters of water are used. Almost half of it (49 percent) is used to grow the cotton, while 45 percent is used when customers wash their jeans, typically about 100 times. The remaining 6 percent of the water is used during the manufacturing process of the jean, which required an average of 3 to 10 spins in cavernous washers and dryers to give it its unique appearance.
Now, the new Water<Less jeans combines the multiple wash cycles into a single wet-cycle process, followed by the ozone processing (dry or raw denim). When the ozone decomposes, it reverts to free oxygen, not requiring washing the pair of jeans after the dyeing process. That was exactly where Levi’s could exert the most control of the usage on water and energy: the manufacturing process.
To celebrate the denim brand’s Water<Less jeans over 100 pairs of the jeans were fixed together forming a fluid whirlpool design. The art piece was inspired and designed by British architect Ian McChesney as part of the Regent Street Windows Project in London and used more than 1,000 copper rivets.
Shanghai Metal Corporation offers a wide range of copper rivets in varying sizes and forms, widely used in the manufacturing of art sculptures such as the Water<Less jeans in London. To find out more about us, please visit our Website, WordPress, LinkedIn , Twitter , Facebook and Instagram. Or you could try our new mobile app by scanning our QR code. Moreover, we sell directly from Alibaba , EC21 and Tradekey.
Source and pictures: sustainablebrands.com, greentechcorp.net, fibre2fashion.com, fashionsustainability.weebly.com, theguardian.com, hmvm.co.uk, celsias.com, greenglobaltravel.com
Camilla G.//SMC Editor