Levi’s has launched its new WaterLess™ jeans in Europe – made with using significantly less water but comes in the exact same styles and finishes for which the brand is known. The Levi’s® WaterLess™ collection reduces the water consumption by an average of 20%, and even up to 88% in some products in the line.

In total, 17% of the Levi’s® f/w 2011/12 collection, now available in stores across Europe, will be produced using the WaterLess™ method, saving approximately 20 million liters of water that, according to the company, is equivalent to around 725,887 7-minute showers, 3.6 million toilet flushes, or drinking water for a town of 10,000 people for over two years.

“Our WaterLess™ collection provides a fantastic fusion between style and sustainability,” said Erik Joule, Senior Vice President of Merchandising and Design for the Levi’s® brand. “As a company, we continuously strive to reduce the environmental impact of our products and manufacturing processes. We are excited about the results we have achieved so far with Levi’s ® WaterLess™ jeans, and we know we can make an even bigger impact by applying this innovative thinking to other aspects of our production process.”

During production, a typical pair of jeans is “finished” in large washing machines and dryers. Using traditional garment washing methods, the average pair of jeans undergoes three to ten washing cycles – adding up to approximately 45 liters of water per unit.

Levi’s® WaterLess™ jeans have reduced the water consumption in the finishing process by making simple changes to the process such as, for instance, reducing the number of washing machine cycles by combining multiple wet cycle processes into a single wet process, incorporating ozone processing into the garment washing and removing the water from the stone wash process.

The first collection of WaterLess™ products are available in stores in Europe since May 2011and will include over a dozen classic Levi’s® jeans, including Levi’s® 501® jeans and the popular Levi’s® 511 (slim fit) for men, as well as the Levi’s® Curve ID™ finishes for women.

As part of the WaterLess™ initiative, 10% of the proceeds from the products bought online through the Levi’s® website in Europe will be donated to water.org, a pioneer in delivering sustainable water and sanitation solutions around the world.

WaterLess™ jeans are just one way the Levi’s® brand is working to reduce the environmental impact of its products. Recent Levi Strauss & Co. research shows that during the lifecycle of a pair of Levi’s® 501® jeans, the largest water impact comes from the cotton growing process and through the laundry habits of consumers after they leave the store. As a company, Levi Strauss & Co. is making strides in these key areas – from reducing water during cotton cultivation  through the company’s support of the Better Cotton Initiative (also see our reportage on Denim by PV) creating requirements for how suppliers use water in the manufacturing process and encouraging consumers to use less water in caring for their jeans after they take them home.