It was the beginning of a very long tradition of giving back.
In 1854, Levi Strauss, who was a young immigrant just one year into running his own dry goods business, donated $5 to the Orphan Asylum Society of the City of San Francisco. Little did he know then that his generosity would set the tone for generations to come.
Fast forward to 2013, where we, as a company, honor the tradition of Levi Strauss by putting our values into action daily. But there’s one special day every year where our core values really come to life in the places where we work, live and play. It’s a day that our employees look forward to every year. We call it Community Day.
On May 8, thousands of Levi Strauss & Co. employees are stepping away from work to give back to local non-profit organizations by participating in nearly 170 projects in 46 countries around the world. In rolling up our sleeves, we are making strides in addressing sustainability, equality and the fight against HIV/AIDS. We’re also granting a total of $300,000 to non-profit partners through the Levi Strauss Foundation.
For us, it’s one of the most important days of the year, not only because we’re making a tangible difference in our communities, but also because it makes us proud to be a part of Levi Strauss & Co.
This year, on our 13th Community Day, we’re drawing inspiration from our commitment to sustainability and our latest break-through product innovation, the Levi’s® Waste<Less™ collection. By highlighting our participation in sustainability-focused volunteer projects, we’re aligning this special day with our values and the mindset that is driving new thinking across our company.
Some of us are picking litter out of waterways with United By Blue, an organization that will transform the trash into next year’s Community Day t-shirts. And others of us are working with a non-profit, Thirst, to educate 2,000 Chinese students about water conservation and raise awareness about water issues.
We’re also giving gently used materials a new life through project such as refurbishing skateboards, creating shopping bags from denim scraps, and engaging in a clothing donation drive with our community partner,Goodwill®. Together, we’ll help Goodwill in its mission to divert more than two billion pounds of clothing and household goods from landfills this year alone.
But no matter how we’re contributing to Community Day around the world, we’re focused on putting our values of courage, empathy, originality and integrity into action, in the philanthropic tradition of Levi Strauss himself.