What Does Your Clothing Tag Say?

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Levi Strauss is partnering with Goodwill to start the Care Tag for Our Planet program, a campaign that aims to stop clothing from ending up in the landfill.

Levi
The Care Tag for Our Planet program encourages consumers to wash their jeans in cold water, line dry them when possible and donate them to Goodwill when they no longer want them. Photo Courtesy Levi Strauss. 

Starting in January, tags on Levi Strauss clothing will encourage consumers to donate worn, unwanted clothes to Goodwill. Levi Strauss Company hopes the new tags will help deter the 24 billion pounds of clothing that end up in U.S. landfills each year.

The tags will also recommend that the clothes be washed in cold water and line dried whenever possible to help save energy.

The decision to put energy-saving messages on the tags came from the findings of a 2007 life-cycle assessment conducted by the company. The assessment followed a typical pair of Levi’s 501 jeans though its entire lifecycle—from growing the cotton to final disposal. The study found these results: 

CO2 emissions  

The emissions of just one pair of 501 jeans, including cotton production, transportation and washer and dryer use, amounted to more than 32 kilograms of CO2—the equivalent of 78 miles driven by the average U.S. automobile. 

Energy consumption  

Througout its life, one pair of jeans consumes more than 400 megajoules of energy, the equivalent of powering a personal computer for 556 hours. 

Water consumption  

One pair of jeans uses more than 3000 liters of water—the equivalent of 53 seven-minute showers—for cotton production, manufacturing and washing. 

The assessment found that 45 percent of water use occurs during the consumer’s home washing. But 49 percent of the water use happens during the cotton-growing phase. To address this problem Levi joined the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), an organization to improve the environmental and social impacts of cotton cultivation.  

How do you reduce the environmental impact of your clothing? Tell me about it in the comments section.