Levi's Project F.L.X. moves jeans manufacturing into the 21st century

Most people have probably never thought about how exactly that pair of Levi's jeans you wear all the time were made. The traditional method for much of the history of the clothing manufacturer used mostly manual techniques. That is going to change with Levi Strauss & Co announcing Project F.L.X. standing for future-led execution.

This is a new operating model that the company says will take denim finishing to the digital era. Project F.L.X. will reduce the time to market and help Levi's start on a path that will see the elimination of "thousands of chemical formulations" from jeans finishing. Levi's says that the new finishing will deliver a cleaner jean that still meets Levi's standard of craftsmanship.

The company says that for over three decades manual techniques have been used to accentuate worn, faded design elements on denim. The new techniques will use lasers to dramatically cut finishing time. Levi's says that this will cut time for these finishing elements from two to three pairs per hour to 90 seconds per garment followed by a final wash cycle.

The new process will also allow advanced imaging capability to chop finishing design and development time in half. The process currently takes months and will be cut to weeks or days with the new process. Project F.L.X. will also allow on-demand and hyper-local production.

Levi's has a goal of zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020. The new process was developed in-house by the Levi Eureka Innovation Lab. That lab is staffed with designers, developers, chemists, and engineers.

SOURCE: Levi Strauss & Co