Levi’s new collection uses recycled-water dye to save water usage

Back in the 1970s, Levi’s® released a collection called Fresh Produce, inspired by, well, produce. And since we all love fresh fruits and vegetables, Levi’s® figured, why not bring it back, only with a fresh (pun intended) 21st-century spin.

Introducing Levi’s® Fresh for Autumn / Winter 2022, a beautiful range of dyed favourites featuring dyes derived from natural sources, including plants and botanicals.

Traditionally, natural-based dyes tend to produce more earth-tone colours, but with Levi’s® Fresh, we applied new dyeing methods that were able to produce vibrant, icy shades of peach, lavender, pink, and yellow. And all in a mix of both yarn and garment-dyed pieces.

The dyes in the Fresh collection come from one of three natural sources, including non-endangered or non-threatened plants—like madder root extract and natural indigo—agricultural byproducts—like food waste—and minerals like clays, carbonates, and natural oxides.

These dyes were specially formatted to require fewer auxiliaries, without compromising colour fastness or aesthetics, resulting in an innovative, sustainable dye process. All dyes in the collection feature a minimum of 50 per cent plant or mineral content.

Another sustainability feature of Levi’s® Fresh is that we used multiple water-saving dye techniques. Fabric mills used reverse osmosis to recycled water used in wet processing.

Tops were garment-dyed at laundries using recycled water and energy-efficient equipment. Other water-saving techniques included ultrasonic fibre dyeing and direct pigment dyes.

Designed to be worn in monochromatic head-to-toe looks or mixed and matched, the collection features a 551Z Straight Crop jean and a Type II Trucker. Also included is a soft, oversized anorak with kangaroo pocket, 501® Crops for her, and a lineup of Red Tab Vintage Tees.

To complete the head-to-toe look, hats are also included—in the form of a cotton twill bucket hat and a knit beanie.

And just to add a little extra bit of quirky fun, and give a nod to the 1970s Fresh Produce collection, the whole range includes special tabs featuring various fruits and vegetables, a take on the carrot tabs included on the original.

“We are excited to debut our Levi’s® Fresh collection, a vibrant mix of super soft tees, fleece, and denim made with natural dyes and water-saving techniques. Taking inspiration from our archives, we infused each piece with youthful energy borrowed from the original ‘70s Levi’s® Fresh Produce line. It’s a fun, plant and mineral-based, planet-friendly collection rooted in essentials and infinitely covetable,” says Karyn Hillman, Chief Product Officer at Levi’s Strauss & Co.

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