Southern California environment news and trends

Fashion label recycles beer bottles into stylish jeans

Bill Chappell/ NPR

While there’s no shortage of environmentally-conscious fashion labels making more sustainable denim, Treehugger is reporting that New York designer Peter Heron and his I AM NOT A VIRGIN label have found a most unique method of creating jeans. Initially inspired by the “millions of tons” of denim scraps discarded in America alone, Heron began exploring making jeans from other recycled (hence non-virgin) materials. Using a process that breaks down glass into fine particle and eventually fiber, Heron makes a line of jeans that are 75 percent cotton, 25 percent brown beer bottles (the brown bottles create a sepia-tinged hue).

"A couple of facts,” Heron says on the company website. “It takes 1 million years for a single glass bottle to break down in landfill and if all jeans sold in the US alone were produced using our green technology, approximately 1,200,000 barrels of oil could be saved yearly.”

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Levi’s: Save water, don’t wash your jeans this week

"Party Pants"

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Quick — when’s the last time you washed your favorite pair of jeans? For many hardcore denim aficionados, the answer will be a swift and unequivocal “not even once.” While you don’t have to be as steadfastly devoted as others to keeping your denim raw, Levi Strauss & Company is still urging that both employees and consumers commemorate World Water Day (which arrives on Thursday, March 22) by simply not washing their jeans this week.

The promotion is part of Levi’s own Go WaterLess challenge, a company initiative to reduce the use of water when making their products. Most notably, their Water<Less™ line of jeans, which are made specifically to never see the inside of a washing machine. They even come with a non-removable tag that will “noticeably expand” if hydrated, as reported by Treehugger. At the end of this week, Levi’s will select the three most “stylish” employees, and donate $1000 to the water charity of their choice. For consumers, Levi’s is encouraging that they post pictures to Instragram showing them wearing the same pair of jeans each day.

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