Are Levi’s Jeans Vegan?


Yeap, talking about 501s. I had questions for Levi’s about the dye and especially the “leather” patches on the back of the pants. I specifically asked about the higher end, premium selvedge line too (that appear with a darker, thicker “leather” like patch). So I fired off an email to customer service and received this response.

Christine here from Levi’s(R). Thanks for checking in with us.

All of our products have leather like construction paper for the label on the back that displays our logo. None of out labels are made of real leather currently.

As for our dyes none of them are tested on animals.

If there’s anything else we can help you with, be sure to email us back or give us a call at 1-800-USA-LEVI Monday – Friday from 6:00am – 4:30pm Pacific Time.

There you have it. Sport those Levi’s with pride.

Update #1: I have a friend who worked for Levi’s a few years back, I asked him to chime in on this one. He says Levi’s stopped using actual leather on their regular denim back in the 50s. But he doubts the super-high end line don’t use leather, especially the LVC line, anything that retros the pre-50s models. He also claims some of the Capital-E or perhaps some of the Levi’s Red line would have leather. I’ll get back to Christine on this one, and let you know more.

Update #2: I hit up Levi’s for more info on the high end line. Here’s the response.

Ana here from Levi’s(R). Thanks for checking in with us.

Some of the products from our Levi(R) Capital E and LVC Collections may have a Leather Patch. The availability of the Leather Patch can vary among the different styles.


18 comments for “Are Levi’s Jeans Vegan?

  1. Ben
    October 28, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Great to know, I scored a fair few pairs of levi’s while in the USA !!


  2. Lil
    November 4, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Hi there, yes, this is great to know! Thank you for asking them. I was just wondering if you wouldn’t mind throwing in an extra question when you get back to them? I always feel a little suspicious when a company states that they don’t test their products on animals because, as I’ve no doubt you know, they’re often only referring to their finished product while the individual ingredients are tested on animals by others…So I am wondering if Levi’s means this, or that the dye is 100% cruelty-free, including being free from animal-derived ingredients, at all steps of the production process. So yeah, it would be great if you could include that question, if you wish to! :-)

  3. Eve
    December 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Hi There,

    I wanted to thank you so much for this post. It is great to know. I linked back to it on my website.

    Happy Holidays!


  4. January 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Thank you Levi’s for not working with Asia Paper & Pulp anymore. You have taken a brave, gigantic step to stop the deforestation of Indonesia & Malaysia and the possible extinction of the orangutans, the pygmy elephant and many other incredible animals who call these forests “home”. Because of this move, I will buy Levi’s and encourage others to do the same. I have been to Borneo and it is devastating to see the huge rape of the forests and heartbreaking to meet so many orphaned orangutans. Thank you for being part of the solution!

  5. Terje K
    August 4, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Some standard Levi’s jeans do have a real leather patch; I have found this written on the inner label of 511’s messenger jeans and some of the regular 511’s. According to a Danish salesman, the old fabric patches was torn apart easily and Levis are now starting to use real leather in more of their collection. This is clearly printed on the inner label of the jeans sold in Europe, but the same jeans (e.g messenger 511’s) in US stores do not have this “non-fabric parts of animal origin” note on the label. Maybe you could get an update from Levi’s regarding the back patches?

    • @isitvegan
      August 4, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      The “high end” lines definitely use a mix of leather or paper, depending on how high the end is. Sigh, who said leather was “fashionable?”

      I’ll see if we can get an update.

  6. Bartek
    April 28, 2013 at 3:04 am

    I find that surprising because my 501 (which I bought and wore before I realised this) has a label on the inside which specifically states that the trousers contain “non-textile items of animal origin” and the label looks and smells like leather.

  7. Tom
    December 10, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Unfortunately they are changing all their labels back to leather. This really really sucks. I was in a Levis shop yesterday and they said some lines still had construction paper patches, but these were being phased out and replaced with leather. This is what the ‘contains non-textile parts of animal origin’ label means. I checked all the labels in the shop – the 506s and a few others were still vegan, but the 501s, 511s and most others weren’t.

    In light of this pretty definitive bad news, the main article needs to be changed.


  8. Mac
    March 24, 2014 at 7:55 am

    i emailed them last year after noticing the change from a paper label to ‘leather’. they said “We inform you that the patch is synthetic and we do not use leather for our jeans.” however, i recently bought some 501s and find the ‘contains non-textile parts of animal origin’ label inside so i can only assume that it is a leather patch. very disappointed, and i’ll be letting them know.

  9. Chris
    July 17, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    For what it’s worth – I wanted to order a pair of 510’s from Zappo’s, but they claimed they had a leather patch on the back. Some of my old jeans (Bullhead’s from PacSun) have leather, but none of my Levi’s, including other 510’s & 511’s do, so I decided to double check. I got a response from Levi’s that stated they did not use a leather patch on these specific jeans so I went ahead and ordered them crossing my fingers. When I received them I can happily say that although they were claimed to be “leather” you can tell by the feel/quality/ and even smell that it is indeed, paper. Hope this helps!

  10. August 19, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Hey, thanks for this thread. Very useful. Just looked up whether 501 have leather on the back and this was the first thing that popped up. Looks like the jury is out, but I just tweeted at Levis, maybe I’ll get a response. From the pics it looks like paper though.

  11. Marie
    November 29, 2014 at 10:51 am

    I just bought a pair yesterday because the store said its not leather on the bsck but today I’m reading the labels & it says ‘contains non-textile parts of animal origin’. WTF??

  12. Sean
    February 28, 2015 at 12:23 am

    Wrote: What specific parts of Levi’s jeans does contains non-textile parts of animal origin refer to? Also, what animal Origins are being refered to? Thank you.

    Levi does not use any animal parts in our jeans. Most garments are made from 100% cotton or cotton, polyester and elastane blends.

    Please feel free to contact us again if we can be of further assistance. Just email us back, or call us at 1-866-860-8907. Our Customer Service Specialists are available 24 hours a day for your convenience. Live Chat is now available at from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM CST! Click on the Live Chat button at the top of the homepage to chat with a Customer Service Specialist.


    Laura O’ Conner
    Customer Service
    Laura O’ Conner

    Took 5 minutes to write to them. Don’t be afraid to try it.

  13. Matthijs
    April 28, 2015 at 11:33 am

    I asked the same question a second time, and asked some more about the lables. Seems like an error that the label is in there, which is great news! :)

    **: Initial Question/Comment: what specific parts of Levi’s jeans does contains non-textile parts of animal origin refer to? Also, what animal Origins are being refered to? Thank you.

    SystemSystem: Patricia T. has joined this session!

    SystemSystem: Connected with Patricia T.. Your reference number for this chat session is 1522668.

    AgentPatricia T.: Hello,**! My name is Patricia. I would be happy to help you with this today.

    AgentPatricia T.: They are referring to the Levi’s tag on the bag of the pants. They used to be made of genuine leather, however, they are no longer made of leather; the tags are now made of paper like material that looks like leather.

    AgentPatricia T.: Is there anything else I can assist you with today, *?

    Customer*: Ok, the tag really feels like leather tho!

    Customer*: But essentially that means that the jeans are vegan? :)

    AgentPatricia T.: Yes, it is made to feel like real leather.

    AgentPatricia T.: Yes, you could say that they are “vegan” jeans as no animals were used in the making of the jeans.

    Customer*: And the text in the pants is just left there, because it has not been taken out when the tag was changed to fake leather?

    AgentPatricia T.: That text was put in there when we switched materials for the tag so that people know it is not real leather.

    Customer*: But the tag says the ARE animal contents in the jeans?

    Customer*: it says ‘contains non-textile parts of animal origin’

    AgentPatricia T.: Are the pants you are referring to a newer pair of pants?

    Customer*: Yes, I bought them this year

    AgentPatricia T.: There may have been a mistake made with that tag, as our jeans do not contain parts from animals.

    CustomerMAtthijs: great, thanks a lot for your answers! :)

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