Why We’re Committed to Doing Our Part to Help Protect the World’s Ancient & Endangered Forests

Levi Strauss & Co.
October 28, 2014

Levi Strauss & Co. has always believed in doing the right thing for the communities where we work and live and for the planet, even when it hasn’t been the easy thing to do. In our view, creating the perfect fit means balancing style and sustainability.

That’s why we’ve committed to working with environmental nonprofit organization Canopy and others in the apparel industry to address the sustainable sourcing of forest-based fabrics.

Less than 20 percent of the world’s ancient forests remain intact in tracts large enough to maintain the biological diversity that helps support our planet. Trees are also critical to safeguarding our climate; deforestation accounts for approximately 15 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions — roughly the same amount as the entire transportation sector!

The apparel industry plays a critical role in reversing the trend. Research by Canopy has found that trees originating from the world’s ancient and endangered forests are increasingly being used to manufacture dissolving pulp to produce fabrics such as rayon, viscose, modal and lyocell. More than 70 million trees are logged every year and turned into cellulosic fabric — if placed end-to-end, those trees would circle the earth seven times.

Although less than 5 percent of the raw materials in our supply chain are derived from sources other than cotton, and an even smaller percent is derived from forest-based products, we are committed to doing our part to protect this vital resource. Our goal is to ensure no forest-based materials that originate from the world’s ancient and endangered forests enter into our supply chain.

We look forward to working with other apparel companies, as well as with our suppliers and Canopy, to increase transparency and traceability in our supply chain and ensure that the world’s ancient and endangered forests are not used to make our products. Read our commitment to sourcing sustainable forest fabrics to learn more.


Michael Kobori is the Vice President of Social and Environmental Sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co. He leads the development of LS&Co.’s environmental vision and strategy, our efforts to collaborate with other brands on sustainability, and extend our standards throughout the supply chain, including mills and sundry suppliers. 



Image Credit: Daniel Sjöström