US: Levi Strauss to phase out hazardous chemicals
Levi Strauss, the world's largest jeans manufacturer, has pledged to phase out hazardous chemicals from its supply chain by 2020, following pressure from environmental group Greenpeace.
Levi Strauss will require its five largest suppliers in countries like China and Mexico to disclose pollution data by the end of June 2013. This will include the 11 priority chemical groups and detection limits in its supply chain - and means people living near these facilities will gain access to information about discharges into their local environment.
Before the end of December 2013, it will add at least another five Chinese suppliers, and all of their facilities, as well as an additional 20 suppliers from the global south.
This information will be publicised on Levi's public website and other platforms as soon as they are available.
And instead of using hazardous chemicals in the first place, Levi's says it will look for non-hazardous alternatives. This is a bold move away from its previous position, which was focused on managing rather than eliminating hazardous chemicals.
It also acknowledges the intrinsic hazards of APEOs (alkylphenol ethoxylate), which are used in water repellency treatments, and said eliminating them from the supply chain is a priority.
There are plans to enhance training and auditing of its supply chain in conjunction with other global brands, and ensure suppliers have the latest information on APEOs, highlighting where there is a risk they may enter the undocumented contamination of chemical supplier formulations.
Levi Strauss also intends to begin an investigation into APEO use, with findings reported by the end of April 2013, and strengthen supplier contract language to ensure only APEO-free formulations are used by the end of April. It will work with its supply chain and other industry leaders to ensure the most current technological detection limits are used.
The company has also committed to eliminating the use of all PFCs by 31 December 2015.
Greenpeace said the commitment will help the brand "live up to its claims of being a leader" - adding that brands such as Calvin Klein, Gap and Victoria's Secret have so far "failed to take responsibility for the pollution created along their entire supply chain".
Help test our new apparel sourcing tool.
More than 220 companies have now signed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh following the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Dhaka, which killed more than 1,100 people in ...
The most-read stories on just-style this week include calls by a US government official for garment buyers to continue sourcing from Bangladesh, PVH executive Mark Green's vision for the future supply...
Fast Retailing, the owner of Japanese casual clothing brand Uniqlo, is continuing to review the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh....
Nike will stop producing merchandise for Livestrong, the charity set up by disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. ...
Denim giant Levi Strauss & Co has introduced its lower-priced Denizen jeans line to Canada as part of ongoing expansion efforts. ...
Thousands of garment workers have clashed with police as protests for higher pay escalated this week at a Nike clothing supplier in Cambodia....
- Rana Plaza four years on – Timeline of change
- Trump and Brexit get a dose of pragmatism
- Industry groups reaffirm commitment to Bangladesh
- Using worker surveys to drive supply chain change
- Where does VF supply chain sit in growth strategy?
- Nike filed patent for "reinforced denim"
- Gap unveils five-year sustainable fibres pledge
- US textile industry applauds Trump executive order
- Pentland Brands reveals Berghaus factory list
- Adidas and Reebok top transparency index
- Global market review of denim and jeanswear – forecasts to 2022
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Clothing Market in the Top 5 American Countries to 2021 - Market Size, Development, and Forecasts
- Myanmar - ISA Country Report