Levi Strauss & Co. and Goodwill’s partnered to create A Care Tag for Our Planet, a new initiative that aims to put billions of pounds of unwanted clothing to good use instead of into landfill. Beginning in January 2010, the Levi’s brand will be the first major retailer to include messaging on product care tags that encourages people to donate unwanted clothing.
“As a company built on values, we have long worked to promote sustainability in how we make our products and run our operations,” said John Anderson, president and chief executive officer of Levi Strauss & Co. “This initiative uses our global voice to empower hundreds of millions of consumers around the world to join us by providing simple and actionable ways to help care for our planet.”
“A Care Tag for Our Planet is Goodwill’s first partnership of its kind designed to increase the life cycle of clothing and textiles to address the approximately 23.8 billion pounds that end up in U.S. landfills each year,” said Goodwill Industries International CEO and President Jim Gibbons. “As the ‘Original Recycler,’ 166 community-based Goodwills in the United States and Canada collectively divert more than 1.5 billion pounds of clothing and textiles every year from landfill by recovering the value in people’s unwanted material goods. In addition to funding community-based services, these landfill diversion programs create job-training opportunities for more than 1.5 million people a year.”
“We’re launching with the Levi’s brand as a founding partner because it’s an iconic brand with the ability to make an immediate impact with consumers,” said Goodwill of San Francisco CEO and President Deborah Alvarez-Rodriguez. “Our collective goal is to extend the idea of Care Tags beyond washing, drying and ironing—to encouraging consumers to donate these clothes when no longer needed. By doing so, millions of pounds will be diverted from landfill and thousands of lives will be transformed by the power of work in the Bay Area and across the country.”
The new care tags will be available in Levi’s ® retail and wholesale operations the U.S. beginning in January 2010 and the regional and global tags will appear in clothes in Fall 2010. The Levi’s brand and Goodwill will also spread the word to consumers through online viral campaigns and in retail store communications.
This partnership was reached through shared values held by each organization: Levi Strauss & Co.’s goal to reduce the environmental impact of its products and Goodwill’s commitment to help communities recycle usable items while helping those in need. To determine where even greater environmental improvements could be made, the company studied every stage in the life cycle of a typical pair of 501 jeans. The findings indicated that one of the greatest opportunities for reducing climate change and water impact happens after consumers take their jeans home. That’s why, in addition to asking consumers to donate used clothing to keep it out of landfills, Levi’s is encouraging consumers to wash less, wash in cold water and line dry when possible— all of which together reduces your climate impact from washing and drying your Levi’s jeans by more than 50 percent.
Will you particpate? I am a big line dryer, especially in the summer months (winter here means clothes freeze on the line) and locally I donate to our Johnnycake Center and Big Sisters of RI. With two growing kids, every year we have bags of clothes that either get handed down to friends’ kids or donated.
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