Levi’s: Too Deadly to Wear?
This report reveals the fashion industry's contributions to global climate pollution, and calls out denim giant Levi's for its role in deaths from air pollution and climate change. In July 2018, Levi’s made a commitment to reduce 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain by 2025, setting a new standard in the apparel industry. The contents of this
The Fashion Industry’s Pollution Is Deadly:
- Fashion companies have played a contributing role in climate change’s deadly impact around the globe; the industry is the source of more than 8% of global climate pollution.
- Taking its current level of climate pollution as a starting point, the fashion industry is responsible for as many as 38,000 deaths a year from the impacts of climate change around the globe. The majority of people dying from the impacts of climate change are children in developing countries.
- In 2016, the fashion industry caused an astounding 2,764,000 additional premature deaths or disabilities as a direct result of toxic pollution from its facilities and coal-fired plants powering them.
Levi’s Climate Action to Date Has Been Limited:
- Levi’s has dragged its feet on comprehensive climate action at a time when industry leaders around the globe are investing in breakthrough advances and transformational commitments to rein in the growing climate crisis.
- 99% of Levi’s climate pollution is from its supply chain, yet the company has no policy, nor taken any meaningful action, to address impacts outside of its owned operations.
Levi’s Climate and Air Pollution Impacts Are Vast:
- Levi’s annual climate pollution is vast—equal to that of 1.1 million cars, or more than 5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases emissions, according to the company’s own disclosures.
- Many of Levi’s factories are located in pollution hot spots. 1
- Levi’s pollution contributes to climate change deaths, and the company has taken minimal action to end this deadly impact.
- Taking the company’s climate pollution volume as an approximate indicator of its percentage representation within the industry, Levi’s operations can be correlated with up to 2,250 deaths or disabilities in 2016—more than six additional people harmed each day—as a direct result of toxic pollution from its facilities and coal-fired plants powering them. 2
- Levi’s climate pollution can be correlated with as many as 31 additional deaths a year from the impacts of climate change. That is an approximation of one death every 12 days 3, if current climate pollution levels are taken as a closest available proxy to a company’s proportional responsibility in climate change deaths around the globe. The majority of people dying from the impacts of climate change are children in developing countries.
Levi’s Has the Opportunity to Lead the Industry out of Climate Pollution, with a leadership-level climate commitment that:
- Meet or beats the targets of the UN Paris Agreement on climate change—which Levi’s publicly supports—with a 40% absolute reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 for its full supply chain.
- Transitions its entire supply chain to renewable energy, with a minimum of 50% of energy sourced through renewables by 2035.
- Commits to a long-term carbon emission reduction of at least 66% by 20504
- Sees Levi’s become a vocal advocate for full climate action within the industry, working to bring other big brands and their supply chains on board.