Levi's, Goodwill Launch Clothing Recycling Push

'Care Tag for Our Planet' Encourages People to Donate Unwanted Apparel

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Levi Strauss & Co. and Goodwill are working together on a new initiative to save billions of pounds of unwanted clothes and put them to good use. In "A Care Tag for Our Planet," the product care tags on Levi's clothing in the U.S. will include messaging encouraging people to donate their unwanted clothing, with the project expanding to global markets in fall 2010.

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According to Goodwill, about 23.8 billion pounds of clothing end up in U.S. landfills each year. Currently, 166 community-based Goodwill organizations in the U.S. and Canada divert more than 1.5 billion pounds of clothing and textiles a year from landfills and, in the process, create job-training opportunities for more than 1.5 million people annually.

The initiative was created by BBDO West, Goodwill of San Francisco's pro bono agency, which came up with the idea of using care tags to communicate this message. According to the companies, the partnership combines the values of each organization: Levi Strauss & Co.'s goal to reduce the environmental impact of its products and Goodwill's commitment to help communities recycle usable items while helping those in need.

"BBDO provided us with a perfect way to match our long-term commitment to sustainability with our ability to deliver a message to hundreds of millions of people around the globe," said Jill Nash, chief communications officer and VP-corporate affairs, Levi Strauss & Co.

Levi Strauss & Co., which has been working on environmental issues for more than two decades, studied every stage in the life cycle of a typical pair of 501 jeans. It found that one of the greatest opportunities for reducing climate change and water impact happens after consumers take their jeans home. As a result, the company is also encouraging consumers to wash less, wash in cold water and line dry when possible to reduce the climate impact of caring for the jeans.

"As a company built on values, we have long worked to promote sustainability in how we make our products and run our operations," said John Anderson, president-CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., in announcing the project this week. "This initiative uses our global voice to empower hundreds of millions of consumers around the world to join us by providing simple and actionable ways to help care for our planet."

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