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Iconic American Brand Goes Green in a Surprising Way

From recycling to composting, you might be wearing one of fashion's greenest companies.

The fashion industry is a well-known culprit when it comes to industry effects on Mother Nature. An incredible amount of our clothing -- 85% to be exact -- eventually makes its way to landfills in our own backyards and across the world only to be dumped in foreign landfills. Our old outfits are most often left to be buried in piles of trash. And all that trash contributes to the emissions of harmful methane gas. Add to that the environmental effects of sewing, dying, packaging, and shipping, and you've got a lot of varied factors that have real-world consequences for our planet and its inhabitants. 

Several companies have instituted new policies to help offset some of these harmful effects on the environment. VF Corporation  (VFC) - Get Free Report, sportswear brand The North Face, Designer Brands  (DBI) - Get Free Report shoe store DSW, fast-fashion brand H&M  (HNNMY) , REI, and Patagonia all have various programs to reward customers for reselling or recycling clothing to keep it out of landfills.

Among the companies encouraging customers to recycle products is the denim company Levi Strauss & Co.  (LEVI) - Get Free Report. Customers can send in old pairs of jeans, which will be recycled into more denim. So a good pair of jeans really can be a timeless fashion piece.

Levi Strauss & Co. Lead

Levi Strauss & Co. Explores Compostable Packaging

Levi Strauss & Co. has teamed up with the global initiative Fashion for Good to introduce home-compostable polybags in an effort to reduce single-use plastic. The trial will affect the packaging that protects the product (in this case jeans) from the machinery used to sort and ship orders. The new polybags are compostable and made with bio-based materials.

Levi Strauss & Co.’s Cheif Sustainability Officer Jeffrey Hogue is hoping that the denim company will set an example for the fashion industry. 

In a press lease, Hogue said, "This project not only moves us toward achieving our goal of eliminating single-use plastic, [but] it also puts into practice the industry collaboration required to solve these ubiquitous industry challenges. Through Fashion for Good’s platform, we’re able to test innovations like at-home compostable polybags that help our consumers take action and reduce the amount of plastic contributed to landfills.”

The test period for the bag’s viability will run for six months. Two distribution centers will test the program, one in the U.S. and one in Sri Lanka.

Levi Strauss Gets New President, CEO Set to Step Down

In December, now-former Kohl’s  (KSS) - Get Free Report CEO Michelle Gass left the struggling retailer and started her new position as President of Levi Strauss & Co. earlier this month. Levi Strauss' current CEO Chip Bergh will be stepping down from his role over the course of the next 18 months, a role that will likely be filled by Gass at that time. 

Levi Strauss is a key part of Kohl's plan to bounce back after the department store failed to sell late last summer. In an effort to give the brand a fresh new image, the store teamed with the classic denim maker to exclusively carry Levi's SilverTab jeans. Levi's denim has been around since 1853, and the brand carries a long fashion legacy. Thanks to partnerships and sustainability efforts, its clear the company intends to remain a major name in denim for generations to come.