CALIFORNIA – Levi Strauss has launched several new product lines using rain-fed, cottonized hemp, which it first introduced in its spring/summer Wellthread collections. The business said the collection signals an expansion and evolution of its use of hemp, a fibre that uses less water and fewer chemicals than conventionally grown cotton, and which Levi’s can now offer in indigo. Levi’s Wellthread has partnered with California surf brand Outerknown for the collections, which are also 100 per cent recylable. To get around the fact that hemp has a course feel, Levi’s puts hemp through a special process developed by fibre technology specialists that softens the material, giving it a look and feel that is said to be almost indistinguishable from cotton.
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In terms of sourcing, hemp for Levi’s collections is at present sourced from Europe where, the business says, systems are in place to allow it to track & trace rain-fed hemp back to its field of origin. All the hemp is 100 per cent rainfed.
“Last season was us figuring out how to get hemp this soft and wearable,” said Paul Dillinger, VP of product innovation at Levi’s. He added: “This season is about really nailing that iconic deep blue Levi’s indigo in it.”
The latest collection for Fall/Winter 2019 also features a fully recyclable Levi’s Fleece-Lined Trucker jacket with a detachable fleece lining as well as graphic T-shirt made from recycled jeans and cotton scraps, and western shirts made using Water<Less.
Because of the attention to design and details such as the removeable fleece lining, every piece in the collection is fully recyclable. The white T-shirt in the collection is comprised of 25 per cent recycled cotton scraps and the blue shirt is 25 per cent recycled cotton from old jeans, which gives it a rich blue colour without having to incorporate any dye into the process.
Further, each piece from the collection is sewn in facility that supports the company’s Worker Well-being initiative.