This announcement coincides with the release of Levi’s Product Lifecycle Assessment (LCA), an update on the company’s groundbreaking 2007 study on the environmental impact of Levi’s products. The new study analyzed the complete product lifecycle, including 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 in a pair of jean’s lifecycle, cotton cultivation (68 percent) and consumer use (23 percent) continue to have the most significant impact on water consumption.
Consumer care also resulted in the most significant energy usage and climate impact, representing 37 percent of the 33.4 kilograms of CO2 emitted in the lifecycle of a jean.
The new LCA expands on previous research to better understand the impact of cotton cultivation and includes data from the world’s primary cotton producing countries, including the US, China, Brazil, India, Pakistan and Australia. It also analyzes consumer care data from new markets including China, France and the United Kingdom to understand the costs and benefits of differences in washing habits.
Levi’s says it will continue to drive water reduction efforts in its own manufacturing by expanding the Water<Less process to include more Levi’s products such as tops. By 2020, the Levi’s brand aims to make 80 percent of its products using Water<Less techniques, up from 20 percent today.