The venerable outfitter is making cleaner, greener jeans, cutting out harmful chemicals that have long been part of the production process. Rather than merely relying on government “do not use” lists, Levi Strauss since 2013 has screened the hundreds of chemicals in its supply chain to ensure their safe use. The company, which shares its findings with the rest of its industry, has so far scratched 50 agents from its dungaree-making “recipes” (it has cleared 500). The 165-year-old company has also turned to lasers to do the chemical-heavy finishing work that used to expose its workers to the most risk. That has made the process more efficient and the work environment safer.
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