Levi Strauss & Co.
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Buy Better, Wear Longer

A proposition and a promise

Global clothing consumption has doubled since 2000. Almost 100 billion pieces of clothing are now made each year, and too many garments get thrown out after being worn just seven to 10 times. It’s part of a wasteful cycle of overproduction and overconsumption that clogs landfills, wastes natural resources and worsens apparel’s impact on our planet.

For the apparel industry to be truly sustainable, we have to reconsider the way clothing is designed, produced and consumed. The Levi’s® Buy Better, Wear Longer campaign, launched in April 2021, aims to raise awareness about overproduction and overconsumption, and to deliver a call to action — for ourselves, our consumers and our industry — to be more intentional about how we design, make, sell and buy clothes.

From a production standpoint, we’re focusing these efforts in four primary areas:

  1. Durability and quality – a pair of Levi’s® jeans is designed to stand the test of time, to be worn for years if not decades, to be repaired or refashioned if need be, and to be passed along to new wearers, even across generations, all the while contributing to the owner’s authentic self-expression rather than the waste stream.
  2. Design and material innovations – in keeping with our commitment to a circular economy, we are designing and producing more clothes that are made to be made again, using safe, recycled and renewable inputs.
  3. Make only what we can sell – we are pursuing technology and innovation to enable a shift from the industry’s prevailing sell-what-you-make approach to a make-what-you-sell approach that optimizes resource use and minimizes excess inventory.
  4. Collaboration – we realize we cannot reach the scale the industry — and the world — needs without working with other brands, partners, platforms and customers to achieve lasting change.

Built on Durability, Quality, Innovation

The Buy Better, Wear Longer campaign reflects the Levi’s® brand’s ongoing efforts to drive more sustainable production practices, reduce its resource footprint and contribute to a circular, less consumptive apparel sector. This includes implementing science-based climate targets and geographically contextual water actions, investing in materials such as cottonized hemp and organic cotton, scaling Water<Less® manufacturing, and pushing the boundaries of sustainable design with innovations like the Levi’s® WellThread® collection. Through Buy Better, Wear Longer, consumers around the world can come together to rethink fashion production and consumption.

Buy Better, Wear Longer is both a proposition and a promise. The Levi’s® brand will keep making products that stand the test of time and encourage consumers to keep wearing them as long as possible. This promise builds on the brand’s history of high-quality products made responsibly and made to last longer.

2020 Water<Less® Progress

By the end of 2020, 67% of LS&Co. products and 75% of all LS&Co. bottoms were made using our Water<Less® technology. The numbers are even higher for the Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. and Denizen® brands, for which 94% of products were Water<Less by the end of 2020, and the Dockers® brand, which achieved 84% in 2020.

2020 Water<Less® Progress

By the end of 2020, 67% of LS&Co. products and 75% of all LS&Co. bottoms were made using our Water<Less® technology. The numbers are even higher for the Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. and Denizen® brands, for which 94% of products were Water<Less by the end of 2020, and the Dockers® brand, which achieved 84% in 2020.

Connecting with Consumers

At launch, 87% of recorded social sentiment for the Buy Better, Wear Longer campaign was positive, signaling what we suspected – that our consumers are aligned with the message and that the more deliberate approach to consumption that took hold during the pandemic has real staying power.

Everywhere we operate, whether in our stores or online, we aim to give our customers a connected experience. We understand their passion for our iconic brands and want to honor that passion in every interaction — whether they’re buying a new pair of jeans, reworking a beloved Trucker jacket in one of our Tailor Shops, looking for a soft pair of secondhand Levi’s® jeans, or interested in renting one of our iconic products.

Consumer research conducted by GlobeScan in 2020 showed that people around the world are open to adopting more sustainable and healthy behaviors, but often do not know where to start. A majority, 74%, indicated they want to significantly reduce their impact on the environment. Our own consumer surveys also indicate growing concerns about sustainability issues like climate change — concerns that have increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The action consumers most want companies to take to enable sustainable living is to make more affordable products that are better for people and the planet. In the majority of countries where LS&Co. surveys consumers, most associate Levi’s® with products that are durable and high quality. This recognition positions us to meet consumer expectations with products designed to last, that can be worn again and again, and can ultimately be recycled where the appropriate infrastructure exists, rather than discarded.

LS&Co. is a GlobeScan partner in the next iteration of their Healthy & Sustainable Living Study — one of many key studies we draw from to learn more about consumer perspectives and behaviors when it comes to sustainable fashion and circular economy approaches.

Partners in Sustainability

Designing quality products that are durable, repairable and worth repairing, and ultimately recyclable where the appropriate infrastructure exists, is just one key step to enabling a more circular approach. We know that for the apparel industry to progress toward circularity, customers also play a role. Just as we have a role to play in making responsible products that are designed to last, we can also inform consumers on how to care for those products to promote their lasting quality with minimal impact.

Our garment care instructions encourage reducing water and energy use by not over-washing garments, washing in cold water and line-drying. We are also trying to provide customers with access to resources for reuse, repair and recycling of items that might otherwise wind up in landfills, such as offering vintage products through our SecondHand platform, continuing to grow our Levi‘s® Authorized Vintage line and expanding in-store take-back options to help old clothes find new life.

At the same time, we will continue communicating with them transparently so consumers can feel confident in our products — that they are safe, responsibly sourced and made by people whose well-being is supported.

Awareness and Transparency through Labeling

As the apparel industry offers more garments labeled “sustainable,” it can be harder for consumers to determine which innovations are truly making a difference. One way we are working to enhance awareness is through labeling, including complying with applicable regulations regarding the country of origin, manufacturer identification address or code, care instructions and fiber content and size, as required in certain countries.

Our products include what we call a Care Tag for the Planet to provide consumers with straightforward, more sustainable care instructions. These labels have been sewn into our products to encourage washing less frequently, using cold water, line drying, and donating when no longer needed. Our e-commerce site also offers product care tips for customers to support sustainability. Likewise, LS&Co. products that include cottonized hemp, organic cotton, and innovative fibers like Refibra™ and Circulose® also include labels identifying those environmentally friendly fibers.*

*Refibra™ is a registered trademark of Lenzing Aktiengesellschaft. Circulose® is a registered trademark of Re:NewCell AB.