We are part of a new initiative to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment and better for the sector’s future.
We supported the London-based Forum for the Future in identifying trends that could impact the fashion industry. Their report, Fashion Futures 2025, describes four potential scenarios for a more sustainable retail industry of the future.
Our new care tag lets people know that our clothing can be last for decades and provides a constant reminder that it’s easy to act and drive change.
Our lifecycle assessment of the environmental impact over the lifespan of a pair of Levi’s® jeans and a pair of Dockers® pants gives us a roadmap for reducing our carbon footprint.
Sustainability Begins With the Product
For two decades, Levi Strauss & Co. has been a pioneer in reducing the environmental impact of our products. We want to build sustainability into every product we make.
Since the early 1990s, we’ve been a leader in attempting to minimize the adverse environmental impacts of our business. Factories that make our jeans must adhere to our strict water quality requirements. Manufacturers and suppliers cannot use harmful chemicals listed on our Restricted Substance List. We were leaders in introducing jeans made from organic cotton and recycled denim that use packaging made from recycled materials.
To do more, we realized that we needed to establish a baseline in our push toward reducing greenhouse gases and restoring the environment. In 2007, we conducted a lifecycle assessment to measure the environmental impact of two of our most popular products, a pair of Levi’s® 501s® and a pair of Dockers® Original Khakis.
The lifecycle assessment uncovered a surprising but critical fact: some of the biggest environmental impacts from our products occur in the two lifecycle stages that we don’t control: what happens in the cotton fields and later on, in the hands of consumers. In response, we’re working promote sustainably grown cotton and to influence how our consumers care for their clothes.
Since 2007 when we completed our lifecycle assessment, the practice of lifecycle assessment has continued to advance. As an example, under VISION 21, a project of The Cotton Foundation, work was completed in 2012 to compile robust data on global cotton fiber production. Also as part of this project, a lifecycle assessment on a woven pant and knit shirt was completed (Life Cycle Assessment of Cotton Fiber and Fabric) in 2012.
Due to ongoing advancements in the field of lifecycle assessment, we continue to evolve our lifecycle assessment approach through our in-house lifecycle based method, E-valuate. More information on E-valuate can be found here.
The Levi Strauss & Co. code of conduct was ‘the code that launched a thousand codes.’ It was the first of its kind for a multinational company in any sector and our first significant step toward developing a comprehensive responsible global sourcing program.
Aron Cramer, CEO, Business for Social Responsibility