Circular design has led to the most sustainable pair of jeans Levi's has ever made. Together with Re:newcell, a company that breaks down used cotton and viscose to produce new fabrics, Levi's has made a pair of 502 jeans out of 40 percent recycled materials. Once they've gone through their lifespan, they can be recycled to begin the cycle once again.
This same process was used for a pair of High Loose jeans for women.
Levi's WellThread — Both pairs of jeans were made under Levi's WellThread line, which has been striving for more sustainable production since 2015. Each product under WellThread is made of 100 percent cotton to encourage recycling and uses a modified dye process that reduces water usage by 65 percent.
The Re:newcell jeans differ by utilizing 20 percent sustainably sourced viscose together with 20 percent recycled denim and 60 percent organic cotton. Re:newcell's process involves breaking down discarded cotton textiles into a slurry mixture. That mixture is dried into a sheet of Circulose, which can then be made into Viscose fiber.
When using this material in the jeans, Levi’s has guaranteed that all parts of the jeans including trims and threads meet the brand’s recycling specifications, meaning that the sustainable jeans can once again be recycled again.
Of course, the most sustainable thing you can do is to pick up a used pair from your local thrift or vintage shop. Buying new "sustainable" products will always be something of a paradox, but it beats buying something new that isn't even trying.
The cuts — Levi's 502 is a regular taper fit, sitting somewhere in between the 501 and 505. It's got a roomier thigh with a slimmer fit through the calf for what's more or less your standard modern jean.
More trendy is the women's High Loose, which hangs wide and loose around the ankles like the infamous JNCOs from the late '90s and early '00s. The waist only goes up to 30 inches, but if that'll fit I don't see any reason why a dude couldn't rock them as well. Both are available right now through Levi's site for $148.