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Levi Strauss develops denim finishing

Levi Strauss has devised a new operating model that ushers denim finishing into the digital era. Project FLX (future-led execution) digitizes denim finish design and enables a responsive and sustainable supply chain at an unparalleled scale. By replacing manual techniques and automating the jeans finishing process, Project FLX radically reduces time to market — and eliminates thousands of chemical formulations from jeans finishing.

Using this method Levi Strauss can replace manual techniques and automate the time-consuming, labor-intensive and chemical-reliant process of hand-finishing. By using lasers in new ways, finishing time is cut dramatically – from two to three pairs per hour to 90 seconds per garment, followed by a final wash cycle.

By digitizing the finish design and development process, designers can now create finishes and final garments with a revolutionary new imaging tool. This advanced imaging capability cuts finishing design and development time in half (from months to weeks and sometimes days) and is so accurate the digital files can be sent directly to the vendor and quickly scaled to mass manufacturing.

Levi Strauss has begun piloting Project FLX with select vendors and retail partners and will roll it out across its supply chain in a phased approach over the next two years.