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Sustainability in the Jeans

Levi’s Tailor Shop brings repairs and customization to NW Portland.

Presented by Levi’s® By Ben McBee November 26, 2019

Image: Ben McBee

Everybody has a favorite pair of Levi’s®, the item that has been a wardrobe mainstay for what seems like forever - and for great reason. It fits perfectly. You look good, and even more importantly, you feel good when you’re wearing it. However, even with the durability and quality craftsmanship of the product, all your denim love also means wear and tear. But now, you won’t have to debate about finally letting go, because this winter, NW Portland’s Levi’s® Store is proud to introduce its long-awaited Tailor Shop.

Sustainability is woven into Levi’s® DNA and built into its jeans. Using innovative Water<Less™ techniques, such as Future Finish laser distressing and biodegradable Tencel Lyocell materials, the company has saved three billion liters of water so far, and aims to make 80% of its products this way by 2020. Another part of this effort involves extending the life of customer’s garments, which is especially worthwhile when those clothes hold sentimental value.

Image: Ben McBee

A team of talented and creative tailors joins the capable team at the 23rd Avenue and Burnside location, ready to work with you on an array of repairs and alterations, including: hemming, tapering, taking in the waist, cropping, patching, darning, in problem areas such as the crotch, belt loops and zippers. Even if the jeans are too far gone, you can recycle them in-store to Cotton’s Blue Jeans Go Green™ program, which turns them into insulation for community housing and earns you 20% off toward a new pair of Levi’s® in the process. 

The options at the Levi’s® Tailor Shop don’t end there, and are particularly open when it comes to personalization. “Obviously that evolution has taken place over time,” explains Paul Gillen, who oversees the Tailor Shops. “It went from gold miners having to cinch down their pants to fit better to today’s customization, which is anything from a basic hem to a pin and a patch, to a taper, to a destruction, all the way up to the most beautiful, intricately-designed chain stitch that you could imagine.”

Image: Ben McBee

The Direct to Garment Printer takes personalization a step further, leading to all kinds of exciting partnerships and campaigns, such as NFL, Star Wars™, and Stranger Things, all customizable. For Pride Month, Levi’s® celebrated with a local dance troupe, House of Flora and a collection where all proceeds went to Outright Action International. Shoppers can find other trendy collaborations on the shelves as well, including Justin Timberlake Fresh Leaves, Jacquard™ by Google, and Wellthread™ x Outerknown. 

Ultimately, Levi’s® wants to provide customers the opportunity to engage with the product as a form of authentic self-expression. To do so, they have cultivated an experience similar to that of a tattoo parlor, where you can sit down with a tailor to co-design and bring your vision to life. Perhaps you want a majestic Mt. Hood landscape on the back of your trucker jacket, or a colorful patch added to a pair of 501®’s; the capabilities unlock entirely unique pieces. “Today, consumers want to participate and be very hands-on in the creation of their own garments,” Gillen explains.

Image: Ben McBee

With these updates, the store is looking to build on its already strong community feel, fostered through attentive service and personal relationships. “When we think of an elevated customer experience, and what the product really showcases, I think this is a really unique situation with the Portland store,” says Pacific Northwest Manager Andrea Pachura. “We have the luxury of more square footage than most of our stores, and it really sets it apart from a lot of the outlets.”

Levi’s® has been an American classic for 166 years, and its efforts to repurpose and repair will give fans an even deeper connection to the brand, in the Northwest Portland neighborhood and beyond. “The great thing about Levi’s® product is it’s really durable,” adds Gillen. “I mean it can last a lifetime, or even multiple lifetimes if you pass it down to your kids, and your kids’ kids.”


Levi's Store at Northwest 23rd Avenue Portland
2307 NW Westover Rd, Portland, OR 97210

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