Recycling is great, but there’s a point where it stops being beneficial to the environement and starts being a marketing term. Levi’s new jeans, from the Waste Less line, fall firmly into the latter category: supposedly they’re made out of 20% recycled plastic (from bottles and food trays), and we don’t know exact pricing yet, but they’re definitely going to cost more than you’d expect from a pair of jeans (and more than the 100% cotton versions). Levi’s claims that each pair of Waste Less jeans has three and a half recycled twenty ounce bottles in them, which sounds like a lot, but isn’t when you consider how little material is in a plastic bottle. The jeans will come in the 511 skinny style, the 504 relaxed straight fit, and as a jean jacket. At least they spared the classic 501.
After bottles and food trays are sorted by color and crushed into flakes, they’re blended with cotton fiber, which makes the jeans a kind of unholy artificial fiber and natural fabric amalgamation. Surprisingly, mixing the two together means that the jeans probably won’t biodegrade or recycle, and will most likely end up in the landfill. On the plus side, according to Levi’s, the color of the bottle used will created a undertone in the denim fabric, so at least your expensive, environmentally-irresponsible jeans will have a exclusive undertone of trash color. Lovely.
You can buy them in January 2013 at Levi’s website or wherever ill-conceived products are sold.