Of Dragons and Water

Levi Strauss & Co.
June 5, 2013

Editor’s note: Our recent Community Day efforts focused largely on “creative re-use” – finding new ways to use items that might otherwise end up in a landfill. But some colleagues in China focused on water – not re-using it, but using less of it to start with. Vivan Li shares details from Shanghai.

Levi Strauss & Co. is constantly looking for ways to reduce our water footprint. You may have heard of ourWater<Less™ collection and our involvement with the Better Cotton Initiative. We’re also working to spread the word on why it’s important to conserve water.

Here is where Thirst and my colleagues can help.

Based in China, Thirst is a non-profit organization that focuses on inspiring millions of youth worldwide to create a meaningful change in the way water is viewed and consumed.

We had the opportunity to collaborate with Thirst for this year’s Community Day.

The day started in style with a team photo taking session. The result? A photo montage representing the human “water dragon” we will physically form with students later this year. That’s the picture, above.

Thirst educated us on water scarcity and the steps that we, as individuals and communities, can take to preserve and conserve water. This got us excited about volunteering at a school educational event later this year – to inspire students to do the same.

To prepare, we formed teams to create educational materials for the students.

First, we designed and filmed two-minute videos educating Chinese students about water conservation. Each team was given a theme to work on and the final product will form the core of Thirst’s future school education programs.

Levi Strauss China Computer

Next, we had a go at brainstorming water conservation tips in our everyday life. Thirst will then turn these ideas into educational posters to be placed in schools in China and even our offices.

Levi Strauss Water China Whiteboard


But the best has yet to come.

Later this year, we will again work with Thirst to create a water education day for 2,000 students in Shanghai.  Together, we will form a human “water dragon” when viewed aerially; it will look something like this:

Photo courtesy of Thirst

Photo courtesy of Thirst

Our collaboration with Thirst is another way we continue to lead on water and sustainability. It’s also a way we partner with youth, the leaders of tomorrow, to inspire them to take the charge too.