Levi’s is no stranger to the CSR journey. From its “Water<Less” collection, which reduces water usage in manufacturing by an average of 28 percent, to its “A Care Tag for Our Planet” tag, which urges consumers to donate clothing to Goodwill, the retailer has often pioneered new approaches to lessen its environmental footprint. Its latest move is another bold step in product innovation to address both its environmental and social impact.

Levi’s just announced a new approach – the Dockers® Wellthread process for responsible sourcing, combining sustainable design and environmental practices with an emphasis on durable materials and supporting the well-being of the workers who make the garments. To stand the test of time and reduce unnecessary waste, the Levi’s design team focused on clothing areas that usually receive the most stress, such as buttonholes and pockets. The clothing line also builds upon the company’s existing environmental processes, such as special garment dying procedures, which reduce water and energy use, and the responsible use and reuse planned for the end of the garments’ lives.  

But they didn’t stop at just reducing environmental impacts. According to GreenBiz.com, the line will be produced exclusively at Levi’s Improving Worker Well-Being pilot sites. These sites work to improve labor conditions at the factory and to address larger concerns such as health and wellness, equality and financial matters for employees. Levi’s comprehensive approach is particularly inspiring and relevant as thousands of garment workers in Bangladesh hit the streets this week to protest low wages, marking yet another event in the aftermath of the massive factory collapse in April, taking the lives of more than 1,100 workers.

Companies are starting to take heed of the complexity of issues surrounding the production of a product, not only looking at where and how garments are produced, but what will happen to them at end-of-life. Levi’s Wellthread reacts to a changing environment and proves that responsibility can be infused throughout the entire product lifecycle.

What holistic CSR innovations have you seen lately? Let us know on Twitter using #ConeCSR.


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