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California Denim Brands Forced to Cut Water Usage

Photo: <a href="http://www.siwydenim.com/collection/spring-2015">Siwy Denim</a>
Photo: Siwy Denim

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California Governor Jerry Brown's mandatory water restrictions might cause denim manufacturers in California to change the way they do business, WWD reports. Due to California's ongoing drought, Brown is pushing for a 25% cut in water usage over the coming year. Premium denim brands are already exploring alternative manufacturing methods that save water, which will in turn save them money.

At Siwy Denim, the time that jeans are steam-pressed has been cut in half. Koral Los Angeles is embracing the gray cast that happens naturally when denim is treated without water. Levi's has saved one billion liters of water to date through its Water‹Less campaign and is also imploring customers to only wash their jeans once every two weeks. High-tech, waterless denim treatments include $100,000 ozone machines that can produce the same effects as bleach, and even more expensive laser machines that can distress jeans in 10 minutes. To get a worn-in look without water, manufacturers are tumbling jeans with synthetic stones.