Thursday 10 January 2013

New Year's Detox From Uniqlo, and Levi's Up The Ante With WasteLess Jeans.

Looks like we have a couple of front-runners in the race for big multinationals to show off some green credentials in 2013.
Uniqlo, the Japanese clothing giant, are the latest company to sign up to Greenpeace's Detox Pledge to eradicate all toxic chemicals from their supply chain by 2020. This brings the roll-call of pledgees up to an even dozen. It's not the only example of sustainable behaviour from Uniqlo, either. They're radically expanding the clothes recycling project that has been running in Japan since 2001, rolling it out to their US, UK and French stores through the early part of this year. The initiative actually started in November in Uniqlo's New York flagships, and you can expect to be able to recycle your clean, dry and unwanted articles soon. The campaign is run in conjunction with The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and every item donated will either be going to displaced people in need of fresh duds, or upcycled into insulation or fuel.

Meanwhile Levi's, whose signature to the Detox pledge came late last year following demonstartions by Greenpeace outside their stores, are quietly proving that their commitment to a sustainable strategy is more than just a show or attempt to protect their brand. The jeans giant have launched a new range of Waste<Less jeans, made partially from PET: shredded plastic drinks bottles. Each pair will contain at least 20% recycled material. Levi's has also put a lot of research and work into cutting the amount of water used to manufacture and finish their clothes. Low-water methods of growing cotton, and changes in the way they soften and distress their denim means that there's been a 90% decrease in the amount of water they use since 2007. Where the largest jeans manufacturer on the planet goes, others will follow. Waste<Less jeans should be available in the first quarter of the year.

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