As Levi’s VP of Social and Environmental Sustainability, Michael Kobori, said last year in a blog post, along with a long-standing partnership with Goodwill to divert clothing from landfill and take-back programs for apparel for recycling into everything from building insulation to cushioning material, Levi Strauss’ circular economy ambitions include establishing an infrastructure that supports closed-loop products — recycling your old Levi’s into new ones — by 2020.

In the meantime, and in addition to Levi’s resource-conservation innovations such as itsWater<Less and Wellthread collections, finding ways to incorporate alternatives to thirsty raw materials such as cotton is another critical component of the company’s shift to a circular economy, and its sustainability in a resource-constrained world.

So last week, Levi’s announced a new partnership with Italian upcyled fiber supplier Aquafil — maker of ECONYL®, a nylon made from waste materials such as used carpeting, discarded fishing nets and other marine plastics — to create a new men’s collection incorporating ECONYL, starting with Levi’s 522 men’s tapered pant.

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