Levi Strauss & Co. converges with brands and ZDHC on Screened Chemistry

Levi Strauss & Co.
January 14, 2019

Levi Strauss & Co. has long been committed to identifying and removing potentially harmful chemical formulations from our supply chain.

In 2000, we were one of the first companies to issue a Restricted Substances List. In 2012, we joined the Joint Roadmap Toward Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals, which we pledged to reach zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020 (the Roadmap is overseen by the ZDHC Foundation). Then, in 2013, we launched our Screened Chemistry program, which sought to understand the potential human and environmental impact of chemicals before they enter the supply chain, and to find alternatives for anything deemed unsafe.

And now we are converging with other apparel brands – including Nike, H&M and C&A – to adopt a single standard for chemical management closely resembling the Screened Chemistry program we pioneered. We’re coming together with the ZDHC Foundation, who will oversee the effort, to create a holistic approach to tackling issues of hazardous chemicals and driving innovation in the apparel industry.

From the outset of our Screened Chemistry program, we knew that a collaborative effort would generate a greater impact than any one company could. That’s why we shared our approach publicly in 2016, and a year later convened the business community to further encourage adoption and understanding. It served as an impetus for others like Gap Inc., which is currently piloting its own version of the program.

And last year, LS&Co. was named to Fortune magazine’s “Change the World” list for the second year in a row — this time for our pioneering efforts around our Screened Chemistry program.

“This is something we’ve been working towards for many years,” said Bart Sights, vice president of technical innovation. “An industry-wide effort is needed to drive change and to reduce the overall environmental impact not only of our companies, but our entire industry.”