LS&Co. Partners With Goodwill® to Upcycle Denim Into the Latest Sustainable Styles

Levi Strauss & Co.
May 13, 2014

When we say our products are durable, we mean it. We’ve seen our fans wear their Levi’s® 501® jeans until they had holes in the knees — and then they became 501® shorts. But every now and then there comes a time when you can no longer cut or patch — and then you have to get creative.

That’s what the students at San Francisco State University (SFSU) did last month on Earth Day. Sitting side by side, SFSU apparel design students creatively repaired and embellished unsalvageable Levi’s® samples from the design process. And just like that, a pair of Levi’s® jeans were given a new life. The activity helped Goodwill in its efforts to reduce the amount of clothing making its way to local landfills while supporting the City of San Francisco’s initiative to have zero waste by 2020.

“At Levi Strauss & Co., we are committed to giving back to our communities and our planet. Goodwill is a long-standing community partner that helps us do both,” said Michael Kobori, vice president of sustainability. “We were thrilled to collaborate with Goodwill this past Earth Day to give San Francisco State University students a fun way to shop while promoting sustainable reuse.”

Goodwill partner SFSU pioneered the idea of incorporating community service into its curriculum. The partnership with Goodwill provides a real-world example of how a new generation is rediscovering the lost art of repair and reuse to live stylishly in a world with limited resources.

“Last year, our Goodwill diverted more than 21 million pounds from local landfills,” said Leslie Bilbro, director of donations for the San Francisco Goodwill. “In the past, we might have sold these damaged jeans to textile salvage companies because they were not high enough quality for our stores. Today, we’re taking an innovative approach to harvest more value from these resources — helping San Francisco meet its zero-waste goals while drawing attention to the emerging culture of repair and reuse.”

Student Shows Mendable Earth Day Event