Levi’s Expands Stony Creek Plant-Based Dye Partnership in Fashion for Good
During its quest for achieving greater sustainability in denim, industry pioneer Levi Strauss & Co. has expanded its work in plant-based, pre-reduced indigo development as it continues its efforts with Stony Creek Colors and reported progress from its recent partnership with Fashion for Good. For the San Francisco denim brand, the trio represents progress to scale its use of Stony Creek Colors’ IndiGold dye, which it hopes will establish a reliable source of more ecologically sound indigo that is projected to enter the market by late 2022 to early 2023.
“Our previous work with Stony Creek has shown the great potential of plant-based dyes,” said Jeffrey Hogue, Levi’s chief sustainability officer, in a Jan. 10 statement on Levi’s Unzipped blog. “This is a great opportunity to expand that work and to more fully realize the potential of both this innovation and our partnership with Fashion for Good.”
Levi’s joined sustainable-fashion-innovation platform Fashion for Good in April to fortify its commitment to sustainable practices. The denim brand’s partnership with Stony Creek has been in place for a number of seasons, during which Levi’s Wellthread collection included plant-based indigo formulas from the natural-color provider.
“The original Levi’s jeans used plant-based indigo, so in some sense we’re returning full circle to our roots,” said Levi’s Director of Design Innovation Una Murphy in an October statement.
Exploring methods to discover shade application and efficient processes, Levi’s will provide advisement regarding technical approaches. Stony Creek Colors will bring its IndiGold dye to a selection of denim mills that will perform trials under a number of dyeing systems.
“Customers and brands want clean, safe processes and fabrics. Awareness of a changing climate requires us to act boldly with scalable, plant-based alternatives,” explained Stony Creek Colors Chief Executive Officer and founder Sarah Bellos in December. “IndiGold brings Stony Creek Colors’ proven, climate-positive indigo dye into a new, liquid form that allows for radical ease of use and efficiency in dyeing at denim mills while reducing the chemistries that can lead to pollution in the denim-dyeing process.”
As an equity stakeholder in Stony Creek Colors, Fashion for Good will monitor the progress of the initiative. While Levi’s previous work with Springfield, Tenn., Stony Creek Colors has moved the ecological needle forward within the fashion industry, the presence of Amsterdam’s Fashion for Good is an asset that will expedite speed-to-market for a more natural indigo product.
“The textile industry must move toward safer, renewable and regenerative inputs,” said Katrin Ley, managing director of Fashion for Good, in December. “Stony Creek Color’s innovation is driving this change, and we are excited to be working closely with them and our partners to bring this to market.”