Levi Strauss & Co’s latest Dockers Wellthread process for responsible sourcing at the company’s new innovation lab in San Francisco, has come about as a unique initiative in the green terrain. Coupling sustainable design and environmental practices with an emphasis on supporting the well-being of the apparel workers who make the garments, the new approach brings to the fore all these green processes together into one process.
Going by what Michael Kobori, vice president of social and environmental sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co, says: “How you make a garment is just as important as the garment itself. Our company has been guided by the same principles since its founding 160 years ago. We believe that we can use our iconic brands to drive positive sustainable change and profitable results. Progress is in our DNA. We invented a category and with that comes the responsibility to continually innovate for each new generation of consumers.”
Levi Strauss has stated that the Dockers Wellthread design team studied garments from the company’s archives to see how clothing has held up over time, and from there created a pilot collection of khakis, jackets and T-shirts. “The team engineered lasting value into the design process by reinforcing garments’ points of stress and making buttonholes stronger and pockets more durable”.
In a bid to find ways to reduce water and energy use, the Dockers Wellthread team initiated measures to that effect. Putting to use specialized garment-dyeing so as to cut down on both water and energy use, they deployed cold-water pigment dyes for tops and salt-free reactive dyes for pants and jackets.
According to Levi Strauss & Co, “the designers also considered responsible use and re-use with the end of the garment’s life in mind.”
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