Levi's Jeans are a long-term Number Six staff favourite. With a strong reputation for quality and unparalleled design capability, they’ve been leading the way for denim production across the globe since 1853. With increasing pressure to become more eco-friendly by the day, Levi's have taken a leap of faith and are working towards producing the world’s first fully-sustainable denim distressing process. It’s not something they take lightly, either, given that they sell over $4.6 billion of jeans every year.
“It’s really damn clever”
As part of their brand identity, Levi's Jeans are taking huge steps to pioneer something that’s humane, worthwhile, and really damn clever. Introducing: Project FLX. That’s Future-Led Execution to us. Established a few months ago in the Levi's Eureka Lab, the plan to stop using harsh chemicals and intense manual labour, and start using some high powered laser technology has been put in place. The fact that it’s saving Levi's some serious time, resources, and effort is only the tip of the beneficial iceberg.
“Saving the planet”
Project FLX uses infrared sensors and high powered lasers to shave off layers of indigo dye and cotton to create an authentic distressed wear in around 90 seconds, with little to no chemical waste or manual labour involved. Levi's Jeans are taking a huge step towards saving the planet with this ground-breaking initiative. They have their sights set on producing at least 75 million pairs of Levi's Jeans using this method, and will also be reducing the number of chemicals used during production from thousands to dozens.
“At the forefront of modern menswear”
Using lasers to fade Levi's Jeans is hugely efficient, and it’s keeping the team cutting edge in the growing landscape and demand for clean, low-waste production processes. It’s increasing their design speed, too. With design software they’ve patented to meet their brand-specific needs, Levi's are able to keep themselves cutting edge, and at the forefront of modern menswear. For the last 30 years, it’s safe to say the denim industry has been lead by a series of hand-finishing processes. So the introduction of an eco-friendly solution for authentic garment finishing is making some serious waves in the denim scene.
“An incredible level of accuracy”
The design software allows the team to build their designs instantly on an iPad in a matter of minutes, send it to the laser, and have it completed within a few seconds. Comparing this to the traditional 12-18 step process, the use of this specialist software is allowing Levi's Jeans to be produced much closer to customer expectations with an incredible level of accuracy. This being said, we reckon there’s still a case to be made for some real, long-term wear in a pair of dark indigo Levi's Jeans. We’re stocking both pre-faded and raw, unwashed denim from Levi's this season, we’ll leave the choosing up to you.
Project FLX is just one of the ways that traditional denim production is being brought up to the digital age alongside the rest of the globe. The days of heavy, dangerous, and messy industrial processes are coming to an end, and Levi's are proud to be leading the way.