When the biggest player in denim goes organic everyone in the industry should take a closer look at the treehugger market. According to treehugger.com, "organic cotton is reported to be only a $50 million dollar bump in a $200+ billion dollar cotton market; but, organic cotton demand has been increasing over 20% a year, following the hundreds of US brands offering organic cotton items." A report from just-style.com suggests global sales of organic cotton products will reach $2.6 billion by the end of 2008.
Here's Levi's spin:
The Levi's brand today announced it will include jeans made with 100% organic cotton in its fall 2006 product line. Organic cotton will be used in select new and popular men's and women's styles within its Red Tab and, the recently launched, Levi's Capital E lines. The jeans will be identified as "Levi's Eco" and be available in November 2006 exclusively at Levi's U.S. stores with additional products to be introduced in spring 2007.
"As the inventor of the jeans category, it is critical for us to continue to innovate with our products and within the category itself in order to drive positive change," said Robert Hanson, Levi's U.S. brand president. Building off the brand's world-famous product guarantee, Quality Never Goes Out of Style, Hanson added, "Given our history as a leader in responsible manufacturing and business practices, this initiative is about quality and responsibility never going out of style. With Levi's Eco, consumers who seek to minimize their personal impact on the environment can choose jeans that demand less from the environment without forfeiting the style or quality they've come to expect from the Levi's brand."
Famous for style leadership and its product iconography, Levi's jeans made with organic cotton will be available in a range of popular fits and finishes and marked with a few subtle identifiers. Jeans made with all, or a significant percentage of, organic cotton will be signified as "Levi's Eco" and feature an embroidered lowercase "e" inside the front pocket, or at the bottom of the right leg of each jean. A natural colored canvas "Levi's" tab and "Two Horse Patch" made from 100% organic fabric as well as natural colored pocket stitching of the brand's famous arcuate will also indicate the jeans are made from organic cotton. All external packaging will be made from organic fabric or recycled paper and printed with soy-based ink.
Among the styles made with 100% organic cotton are the Red Tab Vintage Straight Jean for men, and the women's Skinny Jean and Skinny Knee Knocker Short. In the brand's super premium line, Levi's Capital E, a selvedge denim Shrink-to-Fit 501 Original Jean, and forward fits like the men's Wrapped Skinny Jean and Skinny Slouch jeans, and the women"s Twisted Skinny and Twisted Cropped jeans will be made from 100% organic cotton. Other elements of the Levi's Capital E lines including the use of recycled buttons, rivets and zippers and natural indigo to dye some styles of jeans were employed for their minimized impact on the environment.
Global Organic Jeans Offering
The fall U.S. introduction is part of a global launch of products made with 100% organic cotton. In Europe, the Levi's brand will offer certified organic denim versions of its most popular styles - the Levi's 506 Standard Fit Jean for guys and the Levi's 570 Straight Fit Jean for girls. They will be available in select stores within Europe at the end of 2006. Additional styles made from 100%, or a significant percentage of, organic cotton will be introduced in both regions in 2007.
Levi Strauss & Co.