Trend Alert: Levis Wellthread

Sustainable denim continues to be a focus at Levi’s, where organic cotton and natural fibres are used, and ethical clothing is prioritised.

The Levi’s Wellthread seasonal collection is all about fashion industry leadership, while remaining faithful to classic Levi’s style.

Levis Wellthread represents a holistic approach to sustainable garment manufacturing.

When you’re the largest denim manufacturer in the world, you cannot ignore the importance sustainability, in all forms. Levis innovative Wellthread line combines the core principles of environmental stewardship, worker well-being, and design for recovery & re-use.

Levis WellThread collection of durable and timeless styles puts innovation at the forefront. The (US)Fall 2021 collection builds on a platform of sustainable fibres – like organic cotton and Cottonised Hemp – with a new range of sustainable, plant-based dye systems.

When done right, plant-based dyes can save energy and water, helping to reduce the industry’s overall environmental impact. The transition from synthetic chemistry to more sustainable plant-based alternatives takes time to achieve scale, and requires a commitment to long-term R&D.

This season, WellThread introduces a new plant-based indigo from Stoney Creek Colours, the product of a multi-year development relationship with Sarah Bellos, a bio-based dye specialist and Stoney Creek’s founder and CEO.

Stoney Creek’s indigo plants are grown in the American South on former tobacco farms, providing income to farmers transitioning their operations. The result is a vibrant plant-based indigo denim woven by our long time partner Cone Mills rom 100 percent organic cotton and made into a new Levi’s WellThread Stay Loose Taper jean for men and a 70s High Straight for women, as well as a Vintage fit Trucker for men and adjustable Trucker jacket for women.

As Levis expand use of plant-based colour, they’re careful not to use dyes that divert resources from the food industry and instead use a range of dyes made from food waste streams, such as a new garment-dyed Stay Loose Coverall that can be worn loose and slouchy or cinched for a more fitted look.

T-shirts and sweatshirts are dyed with plant-based colours that use sound, rather than chemistry, to fix the pigment molecules to the textile fibres. This new sonic dye application method uses a lot less water than traditional methods, and the plant-derived colours reduce the need for synthetic chemistry.

Denim washes in this collection are also made using more efficient practices and are designed to have a lower impact in terms of energy and chemicals used. Reducing the use of synthetic chemistry is a key focus for WellThread, and the denim finishing processes were developed without using pumice stones or potassium permanganate.

Sustainable materials are important as well. Every piece in the (US)Fall ’21 collection is made from either Cottonised Hemp, cotton and hemp blend, or organic cotton, and is designed for both longevity and, ultimately, recyclability.


By eliminating synthetic components – like nylon zipper tapes, polyester labels, or leather patches – Levis Wellthread garments are engineered easy recovery and efficient re-use in advanced garment recycling systems.

In terms of styling, everything in the collection is designed with a classic, subtly relaxed fit that is perfect for today, but also timeless enough to be worn for years to come. Along with the High Straight jean for women, the collection also includes a new balloon fit skirt featuring a high slit for both ease and comfort, and for men, a new relaxed fit garment-dyed hemp twill pant featuring bio-based synthesized plant waste dye.

The new 360 degree approach to sustainable garment production Levis have with Wellthread is a step change that may steer purchasing decisions for the latest generation of Levis customers.

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