The Most Sustainable Jean Ever

The most sustainable jean ever will be made with organic cotton and Circulose; a breakthrough material made from worn-out jeans.

After five years of research in circular denim design, Levi's launches the most sustainable jean ever which will be apart of the Levi's Wellthread line.

This has come about due to the unique collaboration between Levi's Wellthread; the laboratory that test and validate sustainability ideas through research and development, and re:newcell, the innovators behind Circulose.

This collaboration marks a significant milestone in the fashion industry's transition to circularity.

“Bringing fashion full circle, denim-to-denim, together with a brand as iconic as Levi’s is a dream come true. To make fashion sustainable, it’s important to show people that a material like Circulose is a real alternative to virgin cotton both in performance and style. I can’t think of a better proof than putting truly circular Levi’s® 502’s into stores worldwide” says Patrik Lundström, CEO of re:newcell.

To make Circulose, re:newcell repurposes discarded cotton textiles, such as worn-out denim jeans, through a process akin to recycling paper. The incoming waste fabrics are broken down using water. The colour is then stripped from these materials using an eco-friendly bleach. After any synthetic fibres are removed from the mix, the slurry-like mixture is dried and the excess water is extracted, leaving behind a sheet of Circulose. This sheet is then made into viscose fibre which is combined with cotton and woven into a new fabric.

“We want to recycle Levi's jeans in a way that doesn't diminish their quality. By collaborating with re:newcell, our garment-to-garment recycling takes an important step forward,” notes Una
Murphy, Levi’s Senior Designer for Innovation.

The jeans are designed in a way that maximises recyclability, from the trims to the thread, each element is carefully calibrated to ensure it meets recycling specifications, allowing it to have a second life when it wears out.

Innovations like this will allow Levis, and the fashion industry at large, to reduce their dependency on virgin materials.