Known more commonly as just Levi’s, Levi Strauss the jean maker, is moving towards digitalizing technology that uses lasers to make designs on jeans, a project the company has called “Project FLX” (Future Led Execution).
Levi’s, with the new method, is planning to remove the use of hazardous chemicals, as well as cut down on steps that are labor intensive in making jeans from a current 18 to 24 to just three.
The new laser technology uses infrared that faintly scratches designs onto the outer layer of the jean that in turn creates the faded outlines as well as tears.
Levi’s said its first step into the new process is taking a photo of the jeans and with that photo illustrates it in such a way the laser is able to interpret.
Therefore, for what used to take traditionally between 8 and 12 minutes to accomplish through manual applications, can now be executed using the laser in approximately 90 seconds, explained the Bart Sights, the Vice President of technical innovation at Levi’s.
A report from The Verge said that according to Levi’s, the overall clothing industry has always used chemical processes and hand-finishing to create the popular worn and faded designs that appear on denim.
The goal of the new technique is achieve a point of zero discharge of chemical, known to be hazardous, by 2020, as well as cutting down the amount of chemicals that are used during the finishing part of the jeans process.
In addition, the clothing maker is using an imaging tool that is used on a tablet in a way that it can generate several finishes and patterns on jeans. By doing this, designers are able to modify the colors as well as control the designs used for rips.
As was reported earlier in the media, a Levi’s spokesperson has assured that the new technology will not cost any employees their jobs, but those employees will go through a retraining program and will then be relocated to other areas within the company.
The technique, as per the company, will hugely reduce developing jeans by at least 50% and can be used as well for manufacturing on a large scale. Levi’s is planning to expand its method across the entire denim supply chain for Levi’s on a global basis,
Levi’s said it expects the new platform will be implemented in its entirety by 2020.