The new Levi’s collection offers a sustainable version of a concept from the 70s.
The denim giant has launched Levi’s Fresh, a men’s, women’s and unisex collection of colored denim, t-shirts and sweatshirts dyed with plant- and plant-based nature-derived dyes. The collection is based on Fresh Produce, a 70s line inspired by produce. All pieces are accented with special tabs featuring various fruits and vegetables, a version of the carrot tabs included in the original collection.
The collection exemplifies the progress of the denim industry with natural dyes. Although natural dyes have traditionally been geared towards earth tones, Levi’s has applied new dyeing methods capable of producing vibrant shades of peach, lavender, pink and yellow. All dyes in the collection contain at least 50% plants or minerals. The methods were applied to both yarn and piece dyed parts.
Dyes come from one of three natural sources, including non-threatened or endangered plants, such as madder root extract and natural indigo, agricultural by-products that cannot be used as food, such as pomegranate skins, and minerals such as natural clays, carbonates and oxides. Levi’s noted that one of the benefits of vegetable and mineral dyes is that they require fewer additives to adhere to the yarn, making them a much more sustainable and important innovation for the dyeing process.
Levi’s went even further to save water during production. He has worked with factories that use reverse osmosis on certain machines that recycle water. For some garments, Levi’s has used a powder dye technique that requires less water than traditional rope dyeing. The brand has also relied on piece dyeing for tops, which uses less water when dyeing.
Natural dyes are a priority for Levi’s. In September, she used Stony Creek Colors Plant Dyes in the WellThread Collection.
Stylistically, the collection fits the current trend of cheerful colors and versatile cuts. Designed to be worn in head-to-toe monochromatic looks or mix and match, the collection includes 551Z Straight Crop jeans and a Type II Trucker in all four colors. Also included are a soft oversized anorak with kangaroo pocket, Levi’s XX Chino pleated twill shorts, Utility High Loose shorts, cotton chore coat with patch pocket, calf length denim dress and a range of tees Red Tab Vintage.
Accessories like a cotton twill bucket hat and knit beanie complete the collection, which will be updated for winter with corduroy pieces in the fall.
For Monday’s launch, Levi’s gave members of the Red Tab Pressed Juice loyalty program free at select stores. The brand is also partnering with Tastemade to bring a fresh produce farmer’s market experience to Smorgasburg in Los Angeles.
The launch of Levi’s Fresh follows the arrival of the brand’s collaboration with Los Angeles-based studio Come Tees. The limited-edition collection is available exclusively on the Levi’s app. The collection features just 10 punk-inspired patch-covered 501 jeans and a screen-printed graphic tee inspired by the rebel style of Come Tees founder Sonya Sombreuil.
“In punk there’s a tradition of wearing patches on your clothes,” she said. “But I wasn’t really disappointed with the bands’ patches. So I always created my own patches of things I was really into.
The collection includes a DIY personalization kit which includes needles, acrylic markers and Come Tees patches designed by Sombreuil.