Levi's x Outerknown
by Stephen Garner

Levi’s continues to innovate across its product lines, leading the charge with its Wellthread (sustainability-first) collection. This sustainably-designed collection is modeled on four guiding principles: materials, people, environment, and process. For spring/summer 2019, those principles play out in a mixture of single fiber recyclability and value added through labor – cottonized hemp product. The result is a casual and easygoing collection where every piece is fully recyclable —part of an ongoing collaboration with California surf brand Outerknown. Standouts include a single-fibe nylon board short, a T-shirt made from recycled jeans, a crafted embroidered western shirt, and a Trucker Jacket and 511 Slim jean made from cottonized hemp.

“We know hemp is good for the environment, but it has always felt coarse,” said Paul Dillinger, VP of Product Innovation at Levi’s. “This is the first time we’ve been able to offer consumers a cottonized hemp product that feels just as good, if not better, than cotton.”

Levi's x Outerknown

Of course, sustainability is not only about material, process, and environment, it’s also about people. So for spring/summer 2019, Wellthread x Outerknown features a cotton indigo-embroidered western shirt that perfectly highlights the value of craftmanship. “We wanted to make something where the cost of the goods contributes to community development, where value is added through high-quality labor,” added Dillinger. “We thought, what about intentionally increasing labor cost to create creative value and equity for the people making the garment?” So, the new Levi’s Wellthread x Outerknown embroidered western shirt shows that skill and craftsmanship, and a fair wage for both, can still create some of the most beautiful pieces in fashion.

Ultimately, this season’s Levi’s Wellthread x Outerknown collection is a distillation of the multi-pronged approach necessary to transform fashion. This is about sustainability as much as it’s about future-proofing the supply chain and developing the design skills of the future.

Levi's x Outerknown


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