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SAN FRANCISCO - Denim giant Levi's has launched a new collection of garments made with 55 per cent hemp and using plant-based dyes applied with 'ultrasonic wave technology' to reduce the need for chemicals.

Levi's new Wellthread collection also includes what Levi's describes at its most sustainable jeans ever - the 502 for men which is made with organic cotton and Circulose, a 'breakthrough' material made from worn out jeans.

The company says it has increased its use of hemp as it requires less water and fewer pesticides than conventionally-grown cotton resulting in cleaner, healthier soils. The hemp comes from rain-fed crops, minimising water use.

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