Levi’s is launching a new green feature on its website that will allow
shoppers to customise their own pair of jeans using laser finishing
The feature, which Marc Rosen, Levi’s president of direct-to-consumer,
announced on Wednesday at World Retail Congress in Amsterdam, will allow
online shoppers to design their own products from a “blank canvas” – they
will be able to choose the colour, overdye and levels of whiskering and
“destruction” on their jeans.
T-shirt customisation and denim embroidery is no longer enough for the
modern shopper, Rosen said. “The customer wants a whole new level. They
want to design their very own product. They want it to be personalised for
them and they want to build something unique.”
So how is it more sustainable? Well, the process used Levi’s new F.L.X
(future-led execution) laser finishing technology. The technology uses less
chemicals than with traditional finishing methods and cuts a
labour-intensive process of 18-20 steps, taking up to 12 minutes per pair
of jeans, to a three-step method done in 90 seconds.
Levi’s stores shifting from product showroom to collaboration
By creating “blank canvases” instead of finished goods, the finishing
and customisation process can now be done in distribution centres, closer
to the customer. “If you think about a traditional store, the consumer
comes in and sees stacks of finished goods that we finished earlier in the
process and made the decision about what they might like,” Rosen said.
“Here they’re able to come in and take a blank canvas and design their own
product. That elevates the role of our stylists and our tailors. They’re
some of the best at customising our product but now they get to share that
experience with consumers.”
This means less risk for retailers too, Rosen said. Instead of retailers
being forced to make predictions on consumer trends to early in the
process, with this new concept, that decision process is deferred until a
much later stage, when retailers have a better idea of what the consumer is
actually going to want.
Additionally, Levi’s will also shift its tailor shop to the centre of
its store in order to change the space from being “a product showroom to
become a collaboration studio,” Rosen said, while its marketing focus has
shifted from “promoting and clearing what we have, to inspiring consumers
with what they can create.”
Levi’s new jeans customisation feature will be available online for US
customers in the Autumn.
World Retail Congress 2019 takes place in Amsterdam between 14-16 May
and brings together some 1,400 attendees from 55 countries. Keep
an eye on further coverage of the event from FashionUnited.
Photo credit: World Retail Congress