Levi Strauss & Co. has been proud to call the great city of San Francisco home since our founding in 1853. For 160 years, Levi’s® and San Francisco have stood for progress. From the Gold Rush pioneers, to the Beat Generation, to the Summer of Love in Haight-Ashbury, to our beloved 49ers and Giants, the Levi’s® brand and San Francisco have been synonymous with progress.
Today, San Francisco moved a little closer to its goal of becoming a zero waste city. The San Francisco Department of the Environment and I:CO are partnering with several retail companies, including Levi Strauss & Co. on the first large scale Textile Reuse & Recycling Initiative. We believe that to make a difference, you have to lead – and collaborate. This effort will help San Francisco achieve its goal of zero waste by reducing the amount of clothing, shoes and other textiles to landfill.
As a company that strives to build sustainability into everything we do, we’re honored to be a part of this partnership with I:CO and our hometown city. Starting January 13, the Levi’s® brand is piloting a Progress With Less recycling program at three Levi’s® stores in San Francisco. If the pilot is as successful as we think it will be, we’ll look into extending the length of the program beyond 2014 and into other stores.
San Francisco annually sends almost 20,000 tons of textiles to landfills. That’s 4,587 pounds every hour and more than 39 million pounds a year. Textiles are among the top three materials that San Franciscans send to landfills. With the Progress With Less program, we’re working to ensure that the raw materials from the items collected in our stores here are put to new use.
Progress is woven into the fabric of everything we do from how our clothing is made to how we care for the planet and we’re committed to helping consumers lead sustainable lifestyles and reduce the environmental impact of our products through Progress With Less.
For example, our headquarter building in San Francisco is insulated with more than 25,500 pairs of recycled jeans. We’re working with other local organizations in the city to bring recycled denim insulation to their buildings
The benefits of reducing textile waste are huge. The city will protect the environment, generate economic growth, further solidify San Francisco as the “greenest city in North America,” and lead and inspire communities, businesses and other cities around the globe.
San Francisco has achieved a nation-leading 80% landfill waste diversion rate already. The city, I:CO and all the brands involved are committed to helping close the gap by reaching zero textile waste. You can learn more about recycling textiles here http://www.sfenvironment.org/textiles.
So what can you do? Collect all the clothes and shoes you don’t want and drop them into the Progress With Less box at your local Levi’s® retail store. We’ll take it all, in any condition – even non-Levi’s® stuff. You can also join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #SFSaveFashion.