SAN FRANCISCO, Calif—Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) says it has saved 1 billion liters of water since 2011 through its “Water<Less” process, which reduces the water used in garment finishing by up to 96 per cent.
This announcement coincides with the release of LS&Co.’s new Product Lifecycle Assessment (LCA), an update on the company’s groundbreaking 2007 study that examined the environmental impact of LS&Co. products. The new study analyzed the complete product lifecycle, probing deeper into the environmental impacts of cotton in key growing regions, apparel production and distribution in a range of locations, and consumer washing and drying habits in key markets.
The study shows that of the nearly 3,800 liters of water used throughout the lifetime of a pair of jeans, cotton cultivation (68 per cent) and consumer use (23 per cent) continue to have the most significant impact on water consumption.
To reduce the impact of cotton consumption, LS&Co. is working with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to train farmers to grow cotton using less water. Based on the latest BCI harvest data available, in 2013, cotton farmers in China reduced their water use by 23 per cent compared with farmers who were not using BCI techniques. LS&Co. plans to continue working with its global suppliers with the goal of sourcing approximately 75 per cent Better Cotton by 2020, up from six per cent today.
Lifecycle of a pair of Levis jeans: