Natural dyes are the newest environmentally friendly materials to be utilized in Levi’s® Wellthread®, the heritage brand’s product line that serves as a laboratory for sustainable innovation.
The men’s and women’s collections feature organic cotton and cottonized hemp textiles dyed with Stony Creek Colors’ new line of sustainable, plant-based dye processes. The company, situated in Springfield, Tenn., has developed and verified technology that allows it to successfully supply the market with indigo plant-based color, allowing a transition away from harmful, synthetic, petroleum-based processes.
According to Levi’s, the dye used in the collection is the result of multi-year development cooperation with Sarah Bellos, founder of Stony Creek Colors. Stony Creek raised more than $9 million in a Series B fundraising round in March.
The result is brilliant natural indigo denim woven from 100% organic cotton by Levi’s long-time mill partner Cone (which has worked with Stony Creek since 2015). The fabric is featured in the Stay Loose Taper jean for men and a ’70s High Straight for women from the Fall 2021 collection, as well as a vintage fit Trucker for men and an adjustable Trucker jacket for women.
Levi’s also dyed non-denim pieces in the collection with natural dyes taken from food waste streams, such as the Stay Loose Coverall, which can be worn loose and slouchy or belted for a more fitting look. Plant-based colors are used to dye the T-shirts and sweatshirts in the collection, and sound rather than chemical is used to bond the pigment molecules to the textile strands. The brand claims that this revolutionary sonic dye application technology utilizes less water than standard methods and that the plant-derived colors eliminate the need for synthetic chemistry.
The collection’s designs are built on a modestly relaxed fit that is both timeless and ideal for today’s at-home requirements. The collection also features a new balloon fit skirt with a high slit for ladies and a new relaxed fit garment-dyed hemp twill pant for men, in addition to the High Straight jean.
Paul Dillinger, vice president, head of global product innovation at Levi Strauss & Co., said that at Levi Strauss & Co., they always design items that you’ll be able to keep in your wardrobe for as long as possible. These are the types of clothes they’re talking about when they say Buy Better, Wear Longer. It’s subtle, thoughtful, and beautiful. They figure that if they engineer the clothing well at the start, they’ll still have their maximum worth at the end.
Furthermore, the entire collection is designed for recyclability. The brand developed the overall materiality of every WellThread garment for easy recovery and effective re-use in innovative garment recycling systems by eliminating synthetic components like nylon zipper tapes, polyester labels, and leather patches.
The collection is now available online and at Levi’s shops, with prices ranging from USD 40 to USD 198.