Levi’s and Outerknown aren’t exactly strangers, having collaborated before in previous collections. This time around, though, their joint project brings something entirely different – garments focused around recyclability. And while there’s close to two dozen pieces in this new collaboration, we have to say, the Levi’s Wellthread Western Shirt is easily our favorite of the lot.
A western-style button-down, it looks like the kind of garment that will fit right in the world of Red Dead Online, all while managing to look just as good in modern urban settings. Seriously, it’s the kind of shirt that can pass off for rugged if you pair it with jeans and sneakers, all while looking like a proper work wear if you wear it clean with a nice pair of chinos.
The big deal about the Levi’s Wellthread Western Shirt, along with other pieces in the new collection, is the construction. That’s because every single part of the shirt is made from cotton. We don’t just mean the shirt fabric, either, as the thread, buttons, and labels are all produced from the same fiber, which maximizes the garment’s potential for recyclability in the future. That’s right, no polyester threads, plastic buttons, or metal rivets – the same cotton material used in the shirt fabric is used for everything else.
According to the outfit, the fabric used in the shirt is built to get softer and look even better over time, which means you’ll get plenty of mileage out of this before its recycling dreams come close to realization. Levi’s also claims it’s built with a “revolutionized construction” that’s meant to enhance the garment’s durability, which should stretch its lifespan even further.
The Levi’s Wellthread Western Shirt comes in five colorways, so there’s plenty of options to match with your outfit’s here. The clear winner, of course, is the camo color (which is actually olive?), although we also like the washed ikat (indigo) and pressed flax (light brown). All use the same single-fiber build, making them all perfectly suited for recycling later down the line. Of course, being made from the same fiber means the shirt doesn’t have many of the technical elements found in many modern button-downs, such as the stretch you can get from elastane or the durability you can get from nylon. Still, if you value sustainability, it might be the way to go.
Why is this important? Apparently, the apparel industry isn’t equipped to recycle garments at an industrial scale, as neither the technology nor the processes are there yet. The collaboration is hoping that producing single-fiber clothing can help inspire that to change, since garments like these make setting up facilities for recycling a lot easier than it currently is.
The Levi’s Wellthread Western Shirt is available from Outerknown for a limited time. Price is $128. We’d also recommend checking out the sick-looking Wellthread Sherpa Lined Trucker Jacket, which takes the same single-fabric approach, albeit with hemp cotton, which, according to Levi’s, can be recycled along with cotton just fine.