Levi’s Wellthread 502 Jeans Levi's newest sustainable jeans use Re:newcell's circulose, allowing them to make easily recyclable pants that look and feel like regular denim.

Over the last few years, Levi’s has been putting more and more efforts towards sustainability with their Wellthread line, experimenting with different materials and product constructions that make their products more environment-friendly. With the Levi’s Wellthread 502 Jeans, the outfit looks to lower its environmental impact by using a new, more sustainable denim material.

As with their previous efforts in the line, the trousers are designed to be worn for many years just like regular jeans, all while being completely and easily recyclable when the time to dispose of it eventually comes. For this product, they do that by partnering with Sweidsh company Re:newcell, which has created a revolutionary new fiber called circulose, a blend of 50 percent recycled denim and 50 percent sustainably-sourced viscose, essentially allowing them to cut down on the new organic cotton used with every pair of jeans.

The Levi’s Wellthread 502 Jeans isn’t made completely from circulose. Instead, the outfit actually combines 40 percent of it with 60 percent organic cotton, which, we guess, was essential to retain the traditional look and feel of denim pants. After all, you probably won’t feel great if your Levi’s jeans didn’t feel like the same Levi’s jeans you bought 10 years ago. According to the outfit, the pants “look, feel, and fit” exactly like any pair of Levi’s you’ve ever worn, so they’re able to champion sustainability while maintaining the quality the brand has been known for through the years.

Using the material supposedly allows the outfit to “close the loop” in their supply chain, enabling them to keep creating new products using materials directly taken from their previous garments, instead of having their old jeans join the planet’s ever-growing landfill waste. Aside from that, the material also decreases their manufacturing’s water and chemical use, so it lowers their environmental impact on multiple fronts.

The Levi’s Wellthread 502 Jeans has a tapered cut that has a regular fit through the seat and thigh for comfort and mobility, while tapering significantly as you go down the leg for a more contemporary look. If you’ve never worn 502s before, then it’s a fit that can work just as well when dressed down with a tee for a day of gallivanting or dressed up with a button down for wearing to the office. It has a zippered fly and a traditional five-pocket design, so it’s pretty standard for jeans. Of course, if you’re accustomed to modern jeans bringing a bit of stretch, that won’t be the case here, although we imagine that’s something they’re looking to do down the line.

What makes circulose so special? From what we’ve read, traditional jeans manufacturing entails breaking down cotton into small fibers and blending them with synthetic fibers to make them stronger.  While this helps durability, it destroys the fiber’s ability to be recycled. The circulose solution, which blends cotton with viscose, allows the material to stay recyclable, making it a far more sustainable way to make a pair of jeans.

The Levi’s Wellthread 502 Jeans is available now, priced at $148.

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