Levi Strauss & Co. claims its consumer care recommendations could have saved California 35 billion liters of water over the past four years — the amount of time that the state has been experiencing a severe drought.
The company claims that if everyone wearing Levi’s jeans in California had practiced the washing and drying recommendations for their pants over the last four years, 35 billion liters of water, 597 million kWh of electricity, and $90 million would have been saved (to be fair, spot-cleaning your jeans for the last four years would have in no way averted the drought — NASA recently projected it would take roughly 11 trillion gallons to sufficiently refill the state's reservoirs — but the sooner the public becomes more accountable for its role in consumption of natural resources, the better). The infographic gives two examples of what could have been done for the equivalent of the savings in each category, including meeting the water needs of the San Diego Zoo for 45 years, lighting the Bay Bridge for 9,354 years, and paying the salaries of 1,338 public school teachers.
Levi’s has been extremely active in reducing the water used throughout its entire product lifecycle. The company’s Water<Less™ Process has saved over 1 billion liters of water since 2011, and the company has repeatedly encouraged its customers to wash their jeans less. Earlier this month, Levi’s unveiled Water<Less™ fabric and denim finishes, and began accepting old clothes and shoes at all Levi’s stores in the U.S. this summer.
Levi’s recommends washing less, washing in cold water, and line-drying your jeans. The company stressed the importance of small changes in making a big impact for water conservation, acknowledging that the anticipated heavy rains from a strong El Niño are unlikely to overcome California’s drought.