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For a moment, I thought TreeHugger had missed some zeros. And then I realized the site had simply fallen prey to marketing hype.

Here’s what I am talking about.

Levis is going to town about its new Water<Less jeans whose production process it claims saves about 10-20 liters of water.

On the face of it, you might think it is admirable. But to someone like me who had been following the water scene (as part of my cleantech watch), I thought Levis probably meant 1000-2000 liters. Why?

To just produce 1 Kg of cotton cloth takes 11,000 liters of water (if the entire production value chain starting with cotton cultivation is considered). A pair of jeans will require close to a Kg of cotton. Why should someone go to town if their process saves about 0.1% of this? And more so this is odd for a jeans company, because jeans consume so much water when you wash them during use. The savings of 10-20 liters will be easily gotten rid of with one single wash of the jeans (as compared to some other cloth like plain cotton).

Either I have not understood what Levis is saying, or it is one heck of a marketing hype.