Jun 28 2010
What’s driving the sustainability movement? What’s detracting from it? And where’s the movement headed?
That was the topic of a panel discussion last week at the annual Dwell on Design conference in Los Angeles, and I was fortunate to participate, representing Levi’s® brand.
As a director of men’s merchandising at Levi’s, I’m passionate about design and how it expresses the craft, innovation and purpose embedded in our product.
It’s our goal to ensure sustainability is used as a filter when approaching any product and any stage of its development process. As we continue to give our customers great product at a great price, we’re focused on making sure sustainability is in line with their interests – and that of our brand.
That’s one reason we put Care Tag instructions on our jeans, encouraging consumers to wash them in cold water, air-dry them, and, later, donate them to Goodwill. We did this after we discovered that 50 percent of the environmental impact of our product occurs after it’s purchased.
As a brand, we’re taking many steps to improve the production and development of materials to lessen the environmental impact without increasing the price customers pay.
We’re also challenging them to get involved through the “Care to Air” challenge. The challenge is simple: Design an innovative way to dry clothes…without using energy.
While at Dwell on Design, I spent some time at the ecofabulous Modern Living show house. Levi’s and Electrolux were partners on its design and construction. The show house is a showcase of sustainable design, featuring energy efficient appliances, made with reclaimed wood and other materials, and insulated with recycled denim. Built by Reclaimed Living, it’s living proof that sustainable design can be good design.
Not just green, but designed well with an intelligent approach.
Outside the show house, I found something else that was interesting – a clothes tower. That's a picture of it on the left.
Designed by Josiah Cain of Design Ecology, the tower took a new approach to an old idea, the clothesline. And in doing so, it created space efficiency.
Rather than a typical “horizontal” clothesline, the clothes tower, as the name implies, is built vertically and uses pulleys to raise and lower clothes. This creative approach is a great example of how we can start thinking differently about incorporating air drying into our modern lifestyles.
I’m excited about where such new ideas will take our consumers, our brand and, eventually, our communities.
Posted By: John Colonna, Director, Men's Merchandising, Levi's® Brand
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