Levi’s continues its ongoing pursuit of Earth-friendly product and practices through a new season of its eco-centric WellThread collection. Seen as a “laboratory for sustainable innovation,” the goal of the collection each season is to experiment and hone in on opportunities to make clothes while “leaving less harm in our wake.” For Levi’s WellThread, it’s not just about the resources going into the product. The apparel brand prioritizes four design principles for a more holistic approach to each WellThread collection: environmental stewardship, worker well-being, recyclability, as well as durability and timelessness (aka re-usability).
The experimenting is no different for the WellThread Fall 2021. Designed with a classic, subtly relaxed fit, the new collection offers icons such as the Levi’s Trucker jacket as well as closet staples like hoodies, T-shirts, and jeans available in a wide range, such as loose crop, high loose, and high rise – but all with an eco-conscious twist.
“With WellThread®, we always craft clothes that you’ll be able to keep in your wardrobe for as long as possible. When we talk about Buy Better, Wear Longer, we’re talking about these types of clothes. Subtle, thoughtful, and beautiful. We figure that if we engineer the clothes well at the beginning of their life, they’ll still have a maximum value at the end of it,” said Levi Strauss & Co Vice President, Head of Global Product Innovation, Paul Dillinger, in a press release.
Sustainable, natural fibers is a key component over every WellThread collection, and every piece from Fall 2021 is made from either Cottonized Hemp, a cotton and hemp blend, or organic cotton. Additionally, synthetic components typically found in traditional collections like nylon zipper tapes, polyester labels, or leather patches are eliminated for better recyclability.
The pieces are also crafted using a new range of sustainable, plant-based dye systems, an important process that saves energy and water, but also takes time to perfect at scale. A new plant-based indigo by Stony Creek Colors is a result of a multi-year development relationship with bio-based dye specialist and Stony Creek founder and CEO Sarah Bellos. The company grows indigo plants in the southern United States on former tobacco farms, and the vibrant indigo denim is woven by Levi’s longtime partner Cone Mills from 100% organic cotton.
Other non-denim pieces in this season’s collection uses a new range of dyes made from food waste as well as new innovative ways for application. Products like the T-shirts and sweatshirts are dyed using sound in order to fix the pigment onto the textiles as opposed to chemically bonding the two.
Additionally, the denim washes from the Levi’s WellThread collection are developed without the use of pumice stones or potassium permanganate, a practice that uses mass amounts of water. The alternative is the denim brand’s Water<Less method that the brand claims can reduce up to 96% of the water normally used in denim finishing.
The Levi’s WellThread Fall 2021 collection is a look into what’s possible for the brand and how it can push sustainable design to meet demands globally. Although still an R&D-focused collection, the goal is for the experimentation and resulting innovation of WellThread collections to be applied at scale for the brand’s main line.
“We’re delivering goods that are the same as always, like never before,” said Dillinger when announcing the inaugural WellThread collection in 2015. “The Wellthread design methodology seeks to create environmental or social value creation at every point in the design process — allowing the design team to make the right choice whenever a choice is made.”
Discover the Levi’s WellThread Fall 2021 collection now at levis.com.
In other apparel news, Los Angeles-based eco-friendly apparel brand Wasted Collective released a capsule collection with artist and designer Geoff McFetridge.