Update as of September 25th:
Some of the biggest polluters of the denim industry, Levi’s, Gap, Guess and Lee, have come out with a weak non-committal statement just in time for Climate Week. The PR machine behind the fashion industry is clearly feeling the pressure for these giants to take accountability for their environmental impact. Our pressure is working, but unfortunately, the commitment these industry execs made just isn’t good enough.
Brand execs have delayed committing to the safety of our communities and our environment for another TWO YEARS. That’s right, for another two years while wildfires, floods, and hurricanes wreak havoc on our planet the denim industry will continue with profitable business as usual - outsourcing production to countries with weak environmental standards and pumping massive amounts of emissions into our atmosphere.
This can’t stand. With your help, we’re not going to let the CEOs of these massive brands rake in the positive press from this greenwashing - we need concrete actions to slow the devastating rate of climate change and we need them NOW. Taking another two years to make changes to their emission standards is nothing to be proud of.
Pollution from the world’s largest denim companies like Wrangler, American Eagle Outfitters, and Calvin Klein is contributing to the terrible air quality that’s killing 4,400 people every single day in China.
And worst yet, these companies won’t tell us how much toxic carbon they’re spewing into the atmosphere from burning coal — one of the key contributors to both climate change and deadly air pollution.
If we want to get serious about stopping climate change, we have to hold corporations accountable for all the pollution they’re responsible for—not just the pollution they’re willing to tell us about.
Tell these denim giants to come clean about their carbon emissions and stop contributing to life-threatening air pollution: Calvin Klein, Wrangler, Tommy Hilfiger, American Eagle, Lee, Guess, and Express.
This is how corporate executives line their pockets with bigger profits by disguising the pollution they pump into our air and water: they outsource production to contractors in China, where they can avoid taking responsibility for the carbon emissions created by manufacturing their products.
The apparel industry is a huge contributor to global climate change. Manufacturing a single pair of denim jeans produces 44 pounds of CO2, roughly equal to the greenhouse gas emissions from driving a passenger car nearly 50 miles.
One study shows that clothes manufacturing alone generated about 3% of the global CO2 emissions in 2011 -- roughly equal to climate pollution created by putting 163 million new cars on the road.
Tragically, global warming will likely have the most severe impacts on the developing countries that produce most of the world’s apparel. This means the people getting paid the least in this industry will bear the brunt of the impacts on their health and homes.
Demand that denim giants clean up their act and their supply chains.
SumOfUs members have been working for years to make sure billionaire CEOs take responsibility for the impacts of their actions. From the neonics used in pesticides that are killing vitally important bee populations to the dangerous effects of palm oil in the food we eat, we’re showing up, paying attention, and keeping corporate power in check.
You’ve helped bring down some big corporate giants when it comes to environmental impact and climate change. Now we need to make sure the denim industry cleans up its supply chain before it’s too late.
Join us and demand denim giants take responsibility and stop hiding their impact.
This campaign is in partnership with:
Photographer: Lu Guang/Greenpeace