Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) is the latest fashion brand to make a sizable donation to COVID-19 relief efforts. On Thursday, the company announced it is committing $3 million to help employees, community partners and supply chain workers through several different channels.
The brand is calling on its Red Tab Foundation, an employee-funded program that provides financial support for Levi’s employees and retirees, for aide. The foundation, LS&Co. stated, “was built for times like these and is already playing a critical role with our employees, fielding a sharp increase in requests for assistance from around the world in just the last week.”
The Red Tab Foundation is also assisting other companies in the industry looking for advice on how to set up employee assistance funds.
On a broader scale, the Levi Strauss Foundation (LSF) is providing grants to organizations that are championing marginalized people who are likely to be most affected by the pandemic.
LSF’s contributions will reach organizations such as Chinese for Affirmative Action, which is fighting back against coronavirus-related racism directed at the Asian community in the U.S., and Vision Spring, which is helping factories product protective gear for health workers. The foundation is also providing assistance to Swasti in India, an organization that provides emergency needs for Indian apparel workers; Doctors Without Borders; and others.
In addition to a first round of more than 15 grants, LSF stated that it will continue to support its current grantees to ensure that they are well positioned to meet the needs of the communities they serve.
Supply chain support
The Levi Strauss Foundation stated that it is working with partner organizations in a number of sourcing countries to help address the immediate impact of the coronavirus in the apparel supply chain. This will include a series of grants focused on public health support and food security for factory workers.
The foundation is also working with industry stakeholders for a collective response to support workers during this crisis.
“We have a long history of sharing our learnings and approach to improving apparel worker well-being, and will continue to do this during this time,” the company stated. “No one company will be able to combat the impact of this devastating crisis alone, but together we can make a difference.”
LS&Co.’s relief efforts extend beyond monetary support. The company stated it is donating approximately 10,000 medical-grade masks that were stored for employee safety to hospitals around the globe. The company is connecting employees to resources to donate any extra N95 masks and other PPE they might have to their local hospitals.
“We are also exploring how we might be able to support efforts to get marks to those who need them and are exploring what’s possible from both a manufacturing and innovation perspective,” LS&Co. stated.
This spirit of goodwill is reflected in the values of LS&Co. employees.
A 3:1 employee giving campaign has raised more than $160,000 to date. The donations will be distributed to organizations that are filling critical needs related to the pandemic from a global and local perspective.
Additionally, employees are volunteering with the Red Tab Foundation to make outreach calls to LS&Co. retirees in the coming weeks. The company added that it is working to “mobilize volunteer opportunities to ensure employees can make a difference with organizations serving the underrepresented in our communities, even if they have to do it from a distance.”
The global pandemic has inspired brands throughout the denim industry to do their part to help. Companies such as Shockoe Atelier, Raleigh Denim and G-Star Raw have recently pulled together resources to help get protective gear to COVID-19’s front lines.