Meet Ashley and Eleazar, LS&Co. Collaboratory Fellows

Levi Strauss & Co.
June 11, 2018

Over the next month we are highlighting the fellows in our second class of the Levi Strauss & Co. Collaboratory. These 12 change-makers, who are committed to social and environmental progress, will attend an exclusive workshop at the Eureka Innovation Lab in June for inspiration, ideation and to collaborate on ideas to reduce the climate impact of the apparel industry.

Ashley Etling
CEO, Co-Founder of LimeLoop, a full-circle shipper solution and sensor-driven platform.

What inspires you?

“To make progress in any industry and the world as a whole, we must rethink the norm and challenge social and environmental behaviors, together.”

I am inspired by collaboration and discovery and driven by the confluence of design thinking, business, and technology. This continued curiosity has led to founding and building two companies from the ground up.

When not contemplating a new idea, you can catch me testing recipes through, working with other ambitious founders, sharing learnings through speaking roles at Launch Beacon, Metropolis, SF Design Week, and venturing outdoors.

Is there an ‘a-ha’ moment that made you want to tackle climate change?

Yes! My former company started as a direct-to-consumer physical product company. When launching the textile collection, in parallel with road-mapping our sustainability efforts, I was looking for environmentally sound packaging to ship the products. It was one of those “middle of the night” ideas of “Hey, it would be pretty cool to have a mailer that could be shipped back to us and used over and over again.”  Eight years later, especially with ecommerce on the rise, I feel the timing is essential for companies and consumers to adopt mailers that can be used thousands of times versus once or twice. And that’s where LimeLoop’s work begins.

Eleazar Guevara
Co-Founder, Novabori, which develops eco-friendly fabrics from recycled materials such as cotton, polyester, wool, and acrylics.

If there was one thing you could be known for based on your work, what would it be?

“We are closing the gap between the fashion and recycling industries by creating innovative products that people love.”

I would like to be known as a fashion pioneer in the area of ecofriendly technologies and recycled textiles. I want to be known for creating eco-friendly fabrics that can compete against any other traditionally produced fabric based on quality, price, design, colors and accessibility.

How are you working toward that goal today?

The industry tends to think that environmentally friendly products are rustic, expensive, and therefore can’t contend with the broader fashion industry. Our work at Novabori proves that theory wrong.

Globally, 12 percent of textile waste is recycled, so we know that if we increase this percentage, it will have a positive effect on the climate. Today, we are creating fabrics using recycled materials that we would proudly stack against any other fabrics out there. One of the greatest compliments we’ve received came from our first client, who said that the fabrics we created for him were better than the original samples he provided. We knew then that we could develop a product that does right by the planet AND people would love.