We have long been committed to contributing to a more just society and a better world. This means using our scale, reach and platform to advocate for positive change, address overconsumption and drive toward a more sustainable, less resource-intensive apparel industry. It also means looking past the traditional take-make-waste model toward a circular economy, where nothing is wasted in the manufacture, use and reuse of products. And it means engaging consumers, peers and industry groups in this shared journey to a sustainable future.
During 2020, Levi Strauss & Co. continued to encourage innovation and broader action on the path to embracing a circular economy in order to reduce resource consumption. This included bringing to market innovative denim featuring Circulose? fiber by Re:NewCell — which contains a blend of organic cotton and fiber spun from discarded denim — in our WellThread? line.* We increased the use of cottonized hemp and recycled fibers across our product assortment. In 2021, we launched Buy Better, Wear Longer — a global marketing campaign that both exhorts consumers to be more intentional about purchasing decisions and emphasizes our own commitment to getting more sustainable across our operations. And we launched Levi’s? Secondhand, a buy-back and resale platform that extends our products’ useful lives. In addition to these innovations, we continued to drive progress toward our bold goals on climate and water.
All of this comes from our understanding that the fashion industry not only can be more sustainable — it has to be. Brands must establish a different relationship with the idea of consumption as it applies to consumers and to themselves. That’s why consumption is a key part of our broader approach to sustainability, because if we’re not talking about consumption and acting where we must to change the paradigm, we will not see the kind of progress our business, our communities and our planet require.
We also joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Jeans Redesign project in 2021 to help reduce consumption and advance circularity in denim. The initiative provides guidelines for brands and suppliers to make jeans that can be used more, are designed to be made again, and are made of safe, recycled and renewable inputs. The guidelines align with LS&Co.’s minimum requirements for denim jean durability, and set standards for material health, recyclability and traceability.
*Circulose? is a registered trademark of Re:NewCell AB.