Levi’s and the world of sustainable fashion

September 12, 2018
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This week, leaders from the around the world will descend upon San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit, with a plan to take Climate ambition to the next level. Over the next 3 days, it is anticipated that major companies across various economic sectors – including the apparel industry – will make big climate announcements.

As the world watches the San Francisco climate summit, it’s time for other fashion brands to take the lead. With so many big fashion companies gathered in one space to talk about climate action, who’ll be first to join Levi’s and announce the next industry-leading climate commitment?

This September, leaders from the around the world descended upon San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit, with a plan to take climate ambition to the next level. It was anticipated that major companies across various economic sectors – including the apparel industry – would make big climate announcements.

This event came on the heels of Levi Strauss & Co’s recent industry-leading commitment to address the climate pollution in its overseas supply chain, so all eyes were on other big fashion brands to see if they’d follow suit. But disappointingly enough, every single fashion icon stayed silent on climate action.

Companies make commitments all the time to clean up their act in one way or another, so it’s no surprise if you missed the Levi’s climate announcement or were simply underwhelmed. But this announcement, in particular, deserves a second glance. 

Levi’s big promises

Levi’s committed to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across its entire supply chain by 2025 – exactly the commitment Stand.earth called for in our “Too Deadly to Wear” report. This means that Levi’s intends to transform how its global network of over 500 factories is powered – in less than a decade. 

If Levi’s follows through on these climate commitments, the denim giant’s announcement will be a game-changer for the whole apparel sector. Levi’s is a big player in the apparel industry and its actions are closely scrutinized by its competitors, so we hope other companies will quickly follow suit with their own announcements. If this happens, it will be a much needed win for our climate-stressed planet.

The human impact of fast fashion’s climate pollution

Pollution from the apparel industry has a profound impact on the planet. If the industry was a country, it would be the 4th largest climate polluter on Earth – behind China, the US, and Europe. And its toll on the planet is growing, not shrinking. These stats from our “Too Deadly to Wear” report make us cringe:

  1. Consumers keep clothing about half as long as they did 15 years ago, and purchase 60% more garments each year.
  2. The fast fashion craze has contributed to a 35% increase in climate pollution in just one decade, from 2005 to 2016. 
  3. If the apparel industry continues business-as-usual, its climate pollution will increase by an extraordinary 49% by 2030 over 2016 levels.