So, it turns out that Levi’s sustainability efforts might not be as robust as their lofty statements about those efforts would have you believe. According to a recent Glossy story, the denim retailer has been called out as a “top polluter” in an exhaustively researched report released last week.
Commissioned by Stand.earth — “an advocacy organization that holds corporations and governments accountable for environmental destruction” — the study, subtly named “Too Deadly to Wear,” found that Levi’s “has neglected to clean up deadly air and pollution emissions” across its supply chains, despite its headway on the waste-water reduction front.
Even more disturbing, the report found that “Levi’s can be traced to more than 2,200 deaths or disabilities in 2016, a number calculated by using its pollution-volume percentage across the industry and then calculating its tie to illness traced to toxic pollution from retail factories and coal plants.”
“Levi’s has talked itself into believing that leadership is just changing the lightbulbs in their headquarters; that’s the problem,” Todd Paglia, executive director of Stand.earth, told Glossy. “Real leadership is substantively addressing all of the impacts across their supply chain.”
For their part, Levi’s issued a statement that touted its commitment to sustainability efforts, though it denied nothing specific from the report, and didn’t even include the words “supply chain,” which is more than little troubling, as the Stand.earth report found that “99 percent of Levi’s pollution comes from its supply chain, including everything from facilities that handle fiber, yarn and fabric procurement to factories that deal with assembly, dyeing, finishing and distribution.”
“It’s all talk and no action,” Paglia said. “Levi’s keeps telling us that they’re a leader. OK, if you’re a leader, where’s the leadership?”
You can read more about it at Glossy.