Sign me up!


Get your FREE Innovation in Textiles membership. Sign up now...


12th August 2020, San Francisco

Circulose route to circular Levi’s

© Levi Strauss & Co.© Levi Strauss & Co.

Levi Strauss has launched its most sustainable denim jeans ever, made with organic cotton and Circulose, a breakthrough material made from worn-out jeans produced by re:newcell.

Founded by innovators from Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology in 2012, re:newcell is a multi-award-winning circular fashion company based in Sweden. Through a patented process, re:newcell can upcycle cellulosic textile waste, such as cotton and viscose, transforming it into the pristine new material called Circulose.

To make Circulose, re:newcell repurposes discarded cotton textiles, such as worn-out denim jeans, through a process akin to recycling paper. The incoming waste fabrics are broken down using water. The colour is then stripped from these materials using an eco-friendly bleach and after any synthetic fibres are removed from the mix, the slurry-like mixture is dried and the excess water is extracted, leaving behind a sheet of Circulose. This sheet is then made into viscose fibre which is combined with cotton and woven into a new fabric.

“We want to recycle Levi’s jeans in a way that doesn't diminish their quality,” says Una Murphy, Levi’s senior designer for innovation. “By collaborating with re:newcell, our garment-to-garment recycling takes an important step forward. Recycling keeps garments out of landfills and minimises the use of natural resources. We’re transforming old jeans into high-quality materials, moving us beyond traditional cotton recycling, which shortens and breaks fibres. By using high-quality fibre, Levi’s jeans last longer, and designing for circularity allows our old jeans to become new jeans, again and again.”

 Levi’s and re:newcell were also able to successfully put a pair of the Wellthread jeans made with Circulose and organic cotton, sourced from Turkey, through re:newcell’s recovery system and come away with viable material output for future use, demonstrating that this garment is, in fact, fully recyclable and truly circular.

Available as part of the the Levi’s Wellthread line in the 502 for men and High Loose for women, the new jeans represent more than five years of research in circular denim design.



This article is also appears in...


Be the first to comment on Circulose route to circular Levi’s