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Levi Considers Sustainably Sourced Cotton

leviLevi Strauss is working on a pilot program to locate the source of cotton used in its clothing, and eventually determine if the cotton was sustainably and ethically sourced, reports the San Francisco Business Times.

But fully knowing the source of fabric won’t happen “overnight,” said Levi CEO John Anderson, speaking to students at the UC-Berkeley Haas School of Business.

Complicating thread:

Levi purchases materials from about 150 different textile mills, and each of those mills buys cotton from multiple sources, Anderson said.

Still, the company is investing in a pilot with Historic Futures to trace the cotton supply chain, from growing to gins to fabric mills and on up to factories.

If the pilot is successful, Levi will be able to provide a certificate of sustainably-sourced denim with each pair of jeans sold under the program, according to the article.

Historic Futures worked with Wal-Mart on a similar supply chain study of jewelry.

In other Levi sustainability news, the company is trying to convince shoppers of the benefits of cold-water washing to save energy.

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