IMAGE COURTESY OF: LEVI'S
Levi’s has always been a leader in sustainability. In 1991, it established “terms of engagement” that laid out the brand’s global code of conduct throughout its supply chain. This meant setting standards for worker’s rights, a healthy work environment, and an ethical engagement with the planet.
Today, (counter to what most fast fashion companies are doing) Levi’s is trying to encourage their customers to be conscious that when they purchase a pair of jeans, that is not an isolated event. The garment had an impact before they purchased it, in terms of people that made it and the waste that was involved in creating it. And it’s going to exist long after they’re done owning it.
Paul Dillinger, Levi’s head of global product innovation wondered, What would happen if we could change culture in such a way that consumers imagined the end of life of the product they bought? So, what if we said that you could mulch your jeans, put them in your garden, and see how the decomposition of your Levi’s could feed the food that you were growing. That’s conceivably how we might dispose of garments in the future. That would prompt the consumer to think about little details like how the color was applied to the garment in the first place. Would the chemicals in the dye affect the garment, my food, and my body? This is the kind of holistic thinking Levi’s want to spur in our customers. Fundamentally, asking them to take into account the impact they’re responsible for in the whole system, from the supply chain to the eventual disposal of the garment.