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Levi Strauss & Co. Puts Forests Before Fabrics


Forests and fabrics have a complicated history, but Levi Strauss & Co. is determined to be on the right side of it.

As we recognize the UN’s International Day of Forests today, we remain committed to balancing style and sustainability when it comes to our clothes. In 2014, we joined up with Canopy, an environmental nonprofit organization addressing the sustainable sourcing of forest-based fabrics. We also announced our commitment to sustainable forest fabrics.

The vast majority — 95 percent — of the raw materials in our supply chain are cotton. The remaining 5 percent is a mix of a few different fibers, including viscose-rayon and lyocell. These fibers are made from dissolving wood pulp and chemically altering it to produce thread. The resulting product is washable fabric that maintains a silky feel.

However, research by Canopy found that more than 150 million trees originating from the world’s ancient and endangered forests are logged every year to manufacture these types of fabrics. Recognizing this growing challenge, Levi Strauss & Co. was one of the first brands to partner with Canopy and work to ensure that by 2020 no fabric in our supply chain originates from ancient and endangered forests.

As of this year, LS&Co. has been joined by more than 125 global brands and designers who have signed up with Canopy, pledging to end the use of ancient and endangered forests in the fabric of their stylish creations.