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Brief Published: 19 Dec 2019

Levi’s Gives Back by Preserving Drinking Water


The hallmark US denim brand is investing even further into its production sites, in a bid to reduce water use and give back to local communities in the area.

As part of ongoing efforts to have 85% of its products made using its Waterless conservation technique by 2020, Levi’s has pledged to use only recycled water at its Cape Town factory, and have provided a $100,000 water fund to the city to help achieve this. Currently, 65% of Levi’s products manufactured worldwide are produced using this technique, while more than 50% of the products produced in the Epping-based factory are made using laser- finishing techniques, which vastly reduces both water and chemical use.

Additionally, Levi’s aim with this initiative is to help preserve the amount of drinking water available to locals, following calls from Cape Town for businesses to be more mindful of their consumption rates of clean, quality water. Following this, Levi’s has forged a deal with the city to use a greater amount of recycled, treated water instead for a lower cost, and will sponsor the construction of new water pipelines. Once these pipelines have been built, Levi’s should be able to use 100% recycled water in its manufacturing process, and it will then look to expand the initiative to other production sites worldwide.

Through this scheme, Levi’s is taking responsibility for both the sustainability of its production processes, as well as the wellbeing of the nearby populations. Denim is a notoriously harmful product to manufacture, due to the vast amounts of water and chemicals required, so it is important that producers of these products are aware of this, and proactively tackling the knock-on effects.

For more on fashion’s sustainable efforts, see Sustainability Round-Up: November 2019, A Sustainable Journey and Towards Our Sustainable Future.