Cotton has made it possible for us to provide our iconic garments for more than 140 years. While people love our cotton denim, many are unaware of the tremendous efforts Levi Strauss & Co. takes to protect worker rights and the environment. As pioneers, we want to safeguard this precious commodity for our consumers and the 250 million people around the world that depend on it for their livelihood.
That’s why here at LS&Co., we’re incredibly proud and excited to welcome a new member to the Better Cotton Initiative, Tavex — one of the largest denim fabric mills in North America. We have a goal of sourcing nearly 75 percent of our cotton as Better Cotton by 2020, and Tavex’s involvement — bringing the North American market on board — is a really big part of that.
For the uninitiated, the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) drives demand for cotton farmed responsibly for people and the planet. We’re honored to work alongside other leading brands like H&M, Adidas, IKEA, Marks & Spencer, and Nike since 2009 to drive greater demand for responsibly-sourced cotton.
So what does Better Cotton look like? Better Cotton means producing cotton in a way that cares for the environment, minimizing the negative impact of fertilizers and pesticides, and caring for water, soil health and natural habitats. BCI farmers achieve better yields and more financial security through access to global markets, while improving the working conditions in their fields.
We are avid supporters of BCI’s goal to have Better Cotton comprise 30 percent of global cotton production within the next five years. With Tavex’s involvement, we’re taking another strong step toward reaching that target. Last year marked the first harvest of U.S.-grown Better Cotton, a significant milestone for BCI since the U.S. is the 3rd largest cotton producer.
Tavex’s new BCI member status will help increase demand for U.S.-grown Better Cotton, while helping Better Cotton achieve the scale needed to be a sustainable mainstream commodity. Beyond the direct impact of their Better Cotton support, Tavex’s membership sets an example for other large-scale fabric mills in North America. Our (denim) hats go off to BCI and Tavex for this exciting, historic news.