In a feature on Levi's F.L.X. technology, BoF takes us through the various stages of what the laser distressing process looks like and the benefits it will have for the environment. Not only do the heritage brand's advances mean denim will no longer need to be sand-blasted for that coveted worn-in look, it means the use of chemicals and large volumes of water will be greatly reduced.
At the moment, visits to the Los Angeles customization studio where Levi's is testing the laser process are by invite only. The demonstrations will run for 10 weeks, with customers being handed an iPad on which they can select their desired look — fades, rips, and so on — before the laser gets to work. The laser process takes less than three minutes, and after an hour-long wash, the jeans are yours to take.
Currently, Levi's produces 2,000 variations of denim finishes per year. If successful, this technology will reduce the requirement for such quantities of pre-treated denim. The plan is for F.L.X. customization to roll out in select stores in spring 2019, fulfilled from three distribution centers in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
Would you want to distress your own jeans? Let us know in the comments.
In more sustainability news, Naomi Campbell, Virgil Abloh, and others are raising awareness for clean energy in Africa.