Meet the New Class of the Levi Strauss & Co. Collaboratory

Levi Strauss & Co.
May 7, 2018

We’re excited to announce the 12 leaders who have been selected as the second class of fellows in the Levi Strauss & Co. Collaboratory; a program for socially and environmentally responsible entrepreneurs in the apparel industry to collaborate on sustainability solutions. It’s also part of LS&Co.’s continued effort to making an outsized impact by working with like-minded partners committed to sustainable progress.

This year’s class of Collaboratory fellows will focus on climate change and reducing the apparel industry’s climate impact. Each individual brings exceptional creativity to their work, along with proven passion for advancing sustainable innovation and business practices.

The 2018 LS&Co. Collaboratory fellows are:

  • Ali El Idrissi: Founder and CEO of UpChoose, an online platform designing sustainable consumption services, starting with a baby wardrobe solution.
  • Amanda Grogan: Founder of Make It Black, a bespoke service that collaborates with brands to transform deadstock clothing into new by making it black.
  • Ann Runnel: Founder of Reverse Resources, a data platform for garment factories that allows them to share production leftover information with next best users.
  • Ashley Etling: CEO and Co-founder of LimeLoop, a full-circle shipper solution and sensor-driven platform.
  • Christina Dean:  Co-founder and CEO of The R Collective, a line of luxury upcycled apparel founded in collaboration with Redress, a non-profit that promotes circular fashion.
  • Eleazar Guevara: Co-founder of Novabori, which works to develop eco-friendly fabrics from recycled materials such as cotton, polyester, wool, and acrylics.
  • François Morillion: Co-founder of VEJA, a sustainable shoe brand that uses organic, agro-ecological and fair-trade cotton, wild Amazon rubber and recycled plastic bottles.
  • Isaac Nichelson: Co-founder of Circular Systems, a new materials startup developing innovative circular and regenerative technologies.
  • Kushagra Srivastava: CEO of Chakr Innovation, a technology to capture particulate matter emissions from diesel generators and convert it into inks and paints.
  • Marianne Hughes: Founder and CEO of Knowlabel, a smart devices company providing real-time data on ethical and sustainable practices across supply chains.
  • Molly Hemstreet: Founder & General Manager of the nonprofit The Industrial Commons and the worker-owned, cut-and-sew factory Opportunity Threads, which work together in partnership to promote democratic workplaces and sustainable industry networks.
  • Ryan Huston: Founder and General Manager of Huston Textile Company, maker of high-quality, small-batch, USA-made organic cloth using vintage looms.

“The Collaboratory was designed to propel inventive and tangible solutions that address the most important social and environmental challenges facing the apparel industry today,” said Michael Kobori, Vice President of Sustainability at LS&Co. “We’re energized by the collective talent of this diverse group of leaders – and excited to see how they push boundaries to address the climate impact of the apparel industry.”

LS&Co. Collaboratory fellows will participate in a Workshop Weekend this June at the company’s Eureka Innovation Lab. As part of the curriculum, each fellow has the opportunity to submit an idea for reducing the climate impact of the apparel industry. Innovative solutions will be eligible to receive up to $50,000 in funding.

We will be highlighting each of the fellows right here on Unzipped in the weeks leading up to the Workshop Weekend, so be sure to check back in.