Don't Wash Your Jeans

Talk about taking sustainability to the next level…last month, Chip Bergh, CEO of Levi Strauss, told attendees at Fortune’s Brainstorm Green Conference that he hasn’t washed his jeans in over a year. The admission raised some eyebrows, but most important it proved that Bergh walks the talk when it comes to promoting Levi’s eco-friendly corporate culture and fashion apparel.

The company really started to get attention for its sustainability efforts in 2011 when it began selling stonewashed denim smoothed with rocks but no water while also encouraging consumers to wash less.

Denim jeans manufacturers are in a water intensive industry. One pair of jeans takes 2,900 gallons of water to make, according to the Water Footprint Network. Cotton requires a lot of water, as do the dyes and fabric treatments, so it makes sense that water conservation is central to companies like Levi Strauss.

Food growers are another group pushing sustainability to new heights. Water is needed to grow crops and there has been a severe shortage of it in some major growing regions, particularly in California’s Central Valley. Many small- and medium-sized farmers are hurting financially and may not survive. Suffice it to say there is urgency within the agricultural community to address water issues not only in the U.S. but globally as well.

In the food supply chain, growers, food manufacturers, grocers and the myriad transportation and logistics providers that support them continually drive sustainability to the next level because it is vital to business survival and growth.

Every June, Food Logistics profiles some of these companies in our Top Green Providers list. It is worth noting that the ‘green bar’ is being raised higher each year and we are proud to highlight a few leaders who are going beyond the sustainability status quo in this issue.

Enjoy the read.