Levi Strauss & Co. has named the 10 socially and environmentally conscious entrepreneurs chosen to participate in the LS & Co. Collaboratory, an annual fellowship program aimed at creating a more sustainable apparel industry.
More than 100 individuals from 10 countries applied for the program, representing a wide range of apparel businesses and ideas.
Levi’s first group of Collaboratory Fellows will participate in a workshop, designed in partnership with the Aspen Institute, where they will create solutions to reduce their water impact in order to advance sustainability in the apparel industry. To be held this fall at Levi’s Eureka Innovation Lab, fellows will work alongside the firm’s leaders, as well as experts in the field, to accelerate their water sustainability ideas.
“We’re impressed by the caliber of applications we received from around the world and inspired by the bold thinking and shared commitment to creating a more sustainable apparel industry,” said Chip Bergh, Levi’s president and chief executive officer. “Our goal with the Collaboratory is to fuel the next generation of apparel makers and accelerate sustainability innovation and we’re excited about what this group of fellows will accomplish.”
In addition to the Collaboratory workshop, fellows may receive up to $50,000 in funding to implement their water sustainability solutions.
The 2016 Levi’s Collaboratory Fellows are Miriam Dym, founder of Dym California Textiles, a workshop focused on producing local, “slow” textiles; Mo Elliott, founder and ceo of Fayettechill Clothing Company, which creates apparel for outdoor enthusiasts; Jesus Ciriza Larraona, founder and executive director of The Colours of Nature, a natural dye company specializing in indigo; Kevin McCracken, cofounder of Social Imprints, a full-service merchandising company that employs at-risk populations; John Moore, cofounder and creative director of Outerknown, a sustainable men’s wear brand that blends function and style starting at the supply chain; Pauline Munga, founder and creative director of Home Abroad, a start-up featuring ethically made fashion that incorporates African textiles; Wesley Owiti, ceo and cofounder of Cherehani Africa, a social enterprise focused on women’s empowerment and financial inclusion through sustainable fashion; Kavita Parmar, founder and creative director of the IOU Project, an experiment to rethink how goods are produced and sold in a way that empowers artisans and protects the environment; Benita Singh, cofounder and ceo of Le Souk, the first online global textiles marketplace, and Rebecca van Bergen, founder and executive director of Nest, a nonprofit committed to the social and economic advancement of the fashion and home industry’s informal workforce.