The momentum of climate week continues. Today, Levi Strauss & Co. revealed it will devote more than $380,000 to fund future apparel leaders in its “The Collaboratory” fellowship program.
An industry-wide laboratory for collaboration is needed, but the efforts of each company are still notable. Earlier this week, Swarovski and nonprofit Study Hall announced their One x One fellowship and accelerator in partnerships with the United Nations. U.S.-based companies Nike, Patagonia, American Eagle Outfitters and others made headlines for their sustainability efforts.
Previously, Levi’s Collaboratory class focused on rethinking water usage, unpacking how design and sustainability are inextricably linked. But the second iteration brings on greater urgency — climate change.
Last year, Levi’s released its Climate Action Strategy, setting what is considered relatively ambitious carbon emissions reduction targets, based on a 1.5-degree temperature rise scenario, which sits comfortably under the 2-degree amount dictated by the Paris agreement.
The global representation of fellows ventured to Levi’s Eureka Innovation Lab in San Francisco to exchange ideas with employee mentors and apparel industry experts. All fellows devote their solution-finding toward scalable, tangible and “actionable climate crisis solutions,” in the words of Amanda Grogan, founder of Make It Black, in a statement.
Designed for entrepreneurs, this second iteration of the Collaboratory will feature Hong Kong-based upcycled fashion brand, The R Collective; New York-based overdye remanufacturer, Make It Black; Mexico-based eco-friendly fabric developer, Novabori; North Carolina-based textile worker education platform, The Industrial Commons; U.K.-based real-time platform, GetKno; Estonian software-as-a-service platform, Reverse Resources; Indian emissions-reducing tech company, Chakr Innovation, along with four Calif.-based companies: UpChoose, Circular Systems, LimeLoop and Huston Textile Co.
Apart from the fellowship program, Levi’s is investing in projects such as upcycling design initiatives and the buildout of a data platform providing greater traceability between factories and textile waste recyclers.
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