Angeli Mehta reports on how Levi Strauss and the C&A Foundation are implementing innovative ways to reduce their water footprint
A pair of Levi Strauss 501 jeans has a water footprint of an estimated 3,781 litres of water, from growing the cotton, through manufacturing, consumer use and end of life disposal.
And although manufacturing accounts for just 9% of its embedded water, that is the stage where the company has direct control over water use.
The brand has pioneered a range of 21 techniques – so called Water<Less – that cut water consumption in the finishing process by 96%. It has made these techniques open-source, and alongside its water recycling and reuse standard (another industry first) expects that if adopted, the garment industry could save at least 50 billion litres of water by 2020.
Jeans crafted using at least 15% recycled cotton save as much water as the entire manufacturing process consumes
The garment company has committed to ensuring that 80% of its own products will be made using Water<Less techniques by 2020.
Levi Strauss has also been working with WWF to assess its own supply chain and identify hotspots of water risk. It expects its supplier factories to report on water consumption and...
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