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Levi Strauss, Water, and Cotton

29 November 2011

A friend passed along a NY Times article here in a comment a few weeks ago.  It explained that Levi Strauss is working to reduce how much water goes into to producing a pair of jeans.  They estimate that on average, one pair of jeans requires 919 gallons of water from start to finish.

That’s a lot of water.

And it seems that Levi Strauss is more than just talk.  The company sees the threat of a water shortage to their very existence.

(If only more corporations could look more long term.  Did you watch Tapped?  But that’s another story.)

Here’s a part of what Levi Strauss is doing:

“So to protect its bottom line, Levi Strauss has helped underwrite and champion a nonprofit program that teaches farmers in India, Pakistan, Brazil and West and Central Africa the latest irrigation and rainwater-capture techniques.  It has introduced a brand featuring stone-washed denim smoothed with rocks but no water. It is sewing tags into all of its jeans urging customers to wash less and use only cold water.

“To customers seeking further advice, Levi Strauss suggests washing jeans rarely, if at all — the theory being that putting them in the freezer will kill germs that cause them to smell.”

I personally don’t wash my jeans very often, only when they are visually dirty or are so stretched I can’t wear them comfortably.  I haven’t tried the freezer trick though.

I have to say, with all the negative information out there about different companies and corporations, it’s encouraging to hear about positive steps being taken.

I’m all about the small steps.  They are easier for people to handle and maintain.  Now if only everyone would buy in.

  1. 29 November 2011 8:30 pm

    Patagonia is also looking out for the environment in their Black Friday Ad in the NY Times.

    • 30 November 2011 11:25 am

      I saw that. Pretty cool step for a retailer. But Patagonia is fairly progressive when it comes to environmental issues. Hopefully more corporations will follow their lead.

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