In Good Company

In Good Company: Bringing Sustainability to Life for Consumers

Danielle Samaniego, Unzipped Editor
Levi Strauss & Co.
July 15, 2020

We are nothing without our people. Each day, they build upon the long legacy of originality that has defined our company since Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis invented the blue jean in 1872. It’s our colleagues’ passion and expertise that make our company the modern icon it is. We’re “In Good Company.”

At Levi Strauss & Co., we often say sustainability is woven into everything we do. But it’s on Lauren Bigelow to weave that messaging throughout consumer marketing for the Levi’s? brand.

As a manager on the Global Consumer Marketing team, Lauren works closely with the Levi’s? teams across the organization to strategize and develop global marketing campaigns that speak to our sustainability efforts. It’s a new role for the brand and is dedicated to an aspect of the business that is critical to our profits-through-principles approach.

“A lot of brands are talking about sustainability. It’s become this buzzword that’s lost its meaning. And, with that, we’re seeing a healthy amount of consumer skepticism towards brands claiming to be sustainable,” Lauren said. “But Levi’s has been leading the industry for a long time. Now we’re going to start talking about it. We have to. We have to mobilize collective action. We want to help people think about their consumption behavior, make choices that feel good to them and are good for the planet.”

As a company, we have long taken responsibility for the social and environmental footprint of our products and operations, doing right by the places where we live and work and leading the industry as it seeks solutions to its most pressing issues. Over the past decade, we developed programs such as Water<Less? and Screened Chemistry then open-sourced them so others in and beyond the industry could adopt them, and we have been first to market with pioneering material product innovations such as cottonized hemp.

In 2018, we announced our industry-leading science-based targets on climate, and this past summer we were recognized as one of only 28 companies in the world – and the only apparel company – committed to climate targets aligned with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels. By the end of 2019, some 177 companies had followed suit – although our commitments remain the most aggressive in our industry.

“Figuring out how to talk about a complex, heavy topic in a way that inspires people to do better is what I find fascinating,” Lauren said. “We only have a short amount of time. It is on all of us, as human beings, to think about our actions every day – the role we play in the problem and the solution.”

In thinking about what that means from a consumer’s standpoint, Lauren added, “We know people need to buy clothes. We just ask that you think before you buy. Buy better and buy less. Buying better can mean a lot of things – repairability, quality, durability, fiber strategy, recyclability, worker well-being… We want to be your partner in living more sustainably. We’re all in this together.

“I’m just so grateful to be here,” Lauren added. “Big companies have the biggest opportunity for impact, and we’re not taking that responsibility lightly. I get to take our consumers on the journey with us.”

Hear more from Lauren on how she’s using her role to drive home the way we make our clothes.