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Low-Carbon Biz

Levi’s turns plastic bottles into fashionable denim

With eight plastic bottles, you can make a pair of jeans.

That’s the sustainability concept behind a new line of denim products from Levi’s that uses 20 percent post-consumer recycled content.

Levi’s “Waste<Less” line of products, part of the company’s Spring 2013 collection, adds in recycled plastic bottles and food trays to their make-up.

For its Spring 2013 collection, the company said it will use over 3.5 million recycled bottles, with each pair of jeans containing recycled content equivalent to around eight 13- or 20-ounce bottles.

Levi’s will collect polyethylene terephthalate materials such as brown beer bottles, green soda bottles, clear water bottles and black food trays through municipal recycling programs.

These will then be sorted by color, crushed into flakes and made into polyester fiber that will be blended with cotton fiber to create the denim for the Waste<Less line.

The process also introduces some aesthetic effects – the color of the bottles used are said to add an undertone to the denim fabric.

“From the beginning, we have designed our products with purpose and intent. By adding value to waste, we hope to change the way people think about recycling, ultimately incentivizing them to do more of it,” said James Curleigh, global president of the Levi’s brand.

The Waste<Less line will include the Levi’s 511 Skinny jeans, Levi’s 504 Straight fit jean and Levi’s Trucker jacket for men. For women, the Waste<Less line will have Levi’s Boyfriend Skinny jeans in progressive fit. These products will be available in Levi’s stores globally and on in January 2013.

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