Climate pollution protests with ‘Too Dirty to Wear’ campaign begin at Levi’s flagship San Francisco store

Stand.earth’s new campaign calls on iconic company to lead apparel industry out of increasing climate pollution, toward renewable energy in supply chain

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Climate activists with the “Too Dirty to Wear” campaign flash mobbed Levi’s flagship store on Thursday afternoon in San Francisco, removing their jeans in a show of protest against the iconic company’s climate pollution impacts. Video and photos of the protest are available at bit.ly/dirty-levis.

San Francisco-based environmental group Stand.earth launched the “Too Dirty to Wear” campaign earlier this week with a protest at Levi’s Headquarters in San Francisco, where activists hung a banner next to the company’s sign, changing the name to “LEVI STRAUSS & CO2.” Stand.earth is calling on Levi’s to lead the fashion industry out of its growing climate pollution and catalyze a transition to renewable energy. 

Learn more about the climate impact from Levi’s and the entire apparel industry, and join the campaign by signing an open letter to Levi’s at stand.earth/toodirtytowear.

“Climate change touches every part of our lives, including the clothing we wear. We all need to clean up our act, and we are calling on Levi’s to lead the way by getting the factories that make Levi’s to transition away from coal and other fossil fuels and start using renewables,” said Karen Mahon, Campaign Director at Stand.earth.

“Fires are burning, storms are raging  — the threats from climate change are increasing across the globe,” said Todd Paglia, Executive Director at Stand.earth. “As an iconic brand, it’s past time for Levi’s to stop talking and start taking action by moving the factories that make Levi’s away from coal and other fossil fuels and toward renewable energy.”

The “Too Dirty to Wear” campaign calls on Levi’s to make the following climate commitments:

  • Make a leadership-level climate commitment for the full supply chain to meet or beat the Paris Climate Agreement, a 30-40% absolute reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.
  • Transition the entire supply chain to renewable energy, with a minimum of 50% of energy sourced through renewables by 2035.
  • Commit to a long-term carbon emission reduction target of 66% by 2050 for the entire supply chain.

While Levi’s has made some changes in its direct operations, the company has no firm climate commitments for up to 90% of its climate pollution, which is based largely in the company’s supply chain. Levi’s current climate initiatives include reducing emissions by 25% in offices, retail, and distribution by 2020, and switching to 20% renewable energy in direct operations by 2020.

Coal is the top source of electricity in Levi’s factories in its main supplying countries. Levi’s products are made in 170 factories in China, where coal powers 70% of the electrical grid, and 44 factories in India, where coal powers 75% of the electrical grid.

Recent studies have shown the apparel industry is responsible for up to 5.4% of all climate emissions globally when the full supply chain is considered. This means that if the apparel industry were a nation, it would be the fifth largest climate polluter on Earth, creating more climate pollution each year than the entire country of Russia. 

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Media contact: Karen Mahon, Campaigns Director, karen@stand.earth, 604-836-5992