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Buy better, wear longer: In celebration of Levi’s 501 day

20 May 2021

Today Levi's celebrates 501 day in Aotearoa through a shoot with Auckland musicians and reveals local insights around clothing consumption, encouraging us to 'Buy Better, Wear Longer'.

WORDS BY Hemma Vara

Photographer: Sophia Doak
Hair & Makeup: Binh Minh Ha
Producer & stylist: Brittany Robson
Local musicians NEKO, Leaping Tiger (Jacob Park), Laiika (Grace Moller & Heidi Simpson), and Muroki

Levi’s 501 jeans are a wardrobe staple loved by many. Most notably, the 501’s long history stands proudly alongside the history of music, worn on the big stage by musicians like Bruce Springsteen and Ronan Keating. Today for 501 day, the jeans have been worn by local musicians Laiika, Muroki, Leaping Tiger and Neko, in a shoot produced at Symmetry Studio, Auckland. 

And as we celebrate the longevity of the 501s, Levi’s wants to remind us that the jeans are more than just a famed wardrobe staple. They represent something far more critical: a legacy for a better planet. 

Strong and durable, the 501 jeans last a lifetime, initially engineered in 1873 for workers to endure a tough day in the mines. Today the 501s are available in various cuts and colourways for all genders, but their longevity still stands. 

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Laiika (Grace Moller & Heidi Simpson) & NEKO

Echoing Levi’s call to ‘Buy Better, Wear Longer‘, Levi’s recently surveyed New Zealanders about our apparel consumption, and the results are alarming. Of all the clothes we own, only 49.2% are worn regularly, with 51.5% of people saying they aren’t getting long-term use out of their clothes due to items being out of season, unfashionable, or that they are bored of wearing them. 

The Buy Better, Wear Longer campaign seeks to spark action and inspire us to do better by investing in well-made clothes, including second-hand ones, and wear them for longer. If we wear our clothes for double the length we do now we can reduce our environmental impact by around 44.2%.

Levi acknowledges that as a leader in denim and fashion, it is not exempt from the impact of fashion on the environment, which is why it has set ambitious goals. These include achieving 100% sustainably sourced cotton and 100% renewable energy in owned and operated facilities by 2025. 

Ultimately, Levi’s is aware of how the world has changed since its inception as a company—from how we consume to what we need from brands. To this end, we applaud Levi’s work to influence behaviour on a local level: not just for 501 day, but every day. 

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