SAN FRANCISCO –Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.), the world’s leader maker of jeans, has chosen 10 socially and environmentally conscious entrepreneurs who were 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 ten countries around the world applied for the program, representing a wide range of apparel businesses and ideas.
LS&Co.’s first group of Collaboratory fellows will participate in an exclusive 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. Held this fall at LS&Co.’s Eureka Innovation Lab, fellows will work alongside LS&Co. 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, President and CEO of LS&Co. “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.
Follow the LS&Co. company blog, Unzipped, for more stories about the LS&Co. fellows.
The 2016 LS&Co. Collaboratory Fellows
Founder of Dym | california textiles, a workshop focused on producing local, “slow” textiles.
Founder and CEO of Fayettechill Clothing Company, which creates inspired apparel for outdoor enthusiasts.
Jesus Ciriza Larraona
Founder and executive director of the Colours of Nature, a natural dye company specializing in indigo.
Co-founder of Social Imprints, a full-service merchandising company that employs at-risk populations.
Co-founder and creative director of Outerknown, a sustainable menswear brand that blends function and style starting at the supply chain.
Founder and creative director of Home Abroad, a startup featuring ethically made fashion that incorporates African textiles.
CEO and co-founder of Cherehani Africa, a social enterprise focused on women’s empowerment and financial inclusion through sustainable fashion.
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.
Co-founder and CEO of Le Souk, the first online global textiles marketplace.
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.