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Levis clothing recycling program reaches all its US stores
Jul '15
Levi Strauss & Co. said it has expanded its clothing recycling initiative to all Levi's mainline and outlet stores in the United States.

In a press release, the denim jeans marketer added that is making it easier for consumers to recycle clothing and shoes.

“This underscores our commitment to sustainability by reducing the volume of waste sent to landfills and creating an infrastructure that supports a circular economy by 2020,” it informed.

According to Levis, consumers may drop off any brand of clean, dry clothing or shoes in the collection boxes, who in turn will receive a voucher for 20 per cent off on a single, regular-priced Levi's item in-store.

Following the recent launch of the new Levi's denim collection for women, this expanded recycling effort supports the introduction of Friday Fashion Exchange events.

Friday Fashion Exchange events invite women to try on the new collection and bring their gently worn jeans for recycling.

“We are thinking about sustainability across all facets of our business and how to shift consumer behaviour to make recycling clothing the norm,” Michael Kobori, vice president of sustainability at Levis said.

“As an industry leader, we consider all phases of our product lifecycle, including stages beyond our direct control like the product's end point,” he too added.

He further added, “Collecting used clothing at our stores makes it simple and easy for consumers to do their part and builds upon our commitment to do the right thing for the environment.”

Expanding clothing and shoe recycling is the latest endeavour in the company's broader sustainability goal of creating an infrastructure that supports a circular economy by 2020.

In the apparel industry, this refers to designing a product from cradle-to-cradle rather than cradle-to-grave.

In 2014, with its pilot of Wellthread, Levis designers created 100 per cent recyclable products from a single fibre like cotton, which not only met durability expectations of consumers, but could also be easily remade into new garments.

“Recycling clothing by separating fibres and creating new garments reduces the need for virgin cotton, generating significant water and other environmental resource savings,” the company noted.

Since then, Levis has made strides in also reducing its water usage, saving more than 1 billion litres of water through its WaterLess finishing process.

While many consumers are familiar with recycling bottles, cans and paper, most still throw away clothing and annually, Americans discard more than 28 billion pounds of unwanted clothing, textiles and shoes.

Charitable organisations and others collect roughly 15 per cent of these items, while the remaining 85 per cent or 24 billion pounds end up in landfills. (AR)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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