The making jeans is getting automated and speeded up by the use of lasers and by Levi Strauss.
The process of fading, distressing and ripping would be made more efficient and the use of chemical would be reduced by the use of the new technique, the company said.
Compared to completion of about 2 or three pairs of jeans every hours, the new technology – where human intervention would be replaced by lasers, would enable the company to complete one pair of jeans in just 90 seconds.
The company has set a deadline of 2020 to completely put in place the new technique.
The company would be able to respond faster to the local market needs and demands as the new technique is less labor intensive, Levi’s said. The company would be able to quickly tailor the finished products and send them to the retailers to cater to buyer demands with the new technique as it would allow the company to bulk produce just a few types of jeans.
The process was called “the future of jeans manufacturing” by Chip Bergh, president and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co.
The vast majority of the products of the company are made overseas by contractors.
But because of the fact that employees can be out to use elsewhere in the production process, therefore the firm does not expect any job losses “in the near-term”, said a spokeswoman for Levi’s.
“Given the growth of our business with our vendors, we’ve seen that our manufacturing partners have generally been able to redeploy any affected workers,” she said.
In recent years, the clothing industry has witnessed faster fashion cycles and there is increased competition in the industry.
While retailers have come under consumer pressure to come up with new trends faster than earlier as is the strategy of low-cost, fast-fashion brands like Zara and H&M, the market share of sale of blue jean has been cut into by fashions that tend to favour leggings and other leisure wear.
All of the colouring, rips and all other details would be done by computer aided software, which has been develop din-house by the company, at Levi’s according to the new method, after the computer takes a picture of the clothing. Slits and other details are then made into the denim by upgraded lasers which do so by interpreting the computer generated designs.
Starting with the designing process, the entire cycle could earlier take up to six months. Levi’s said that with the new method, that time period could be reduced to week and in cases even to days.
The company said that the new method would reduce the number of steps front heh earlier 18 to 20 to just three. These large number of steps in the earlier method involved hand sponging and sand papering to wear patterns as well as other details onto the denim.
(Adapted from BBC.com)