Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) just broke ground on a new distribution center in Germany designed with state-of-the-art features inspired by Cradle to Cradle principles. It marks the company’s sixth distribution center in Europe and the first worldwide to have both LEED and WELL Health-Safety certifications.
Previously a mining field, the 750,000-square-foot space located in Dorsten will manage the distribution of apparel, accessories and footwear across wholesale, retail, digital, e-commerce and marketplace channels.
The company announced plans to open the distribution center in its first-ever standalone sustainability report published in September. The report called attention to its distribution center in Henderson, Nev., the largest of its kind to receive the Platinum LEED designation at the time of its certification. For its Dorsten location, LS&Co. is expanding beyond what’s included in Henderson, and will use sustainably sourced concrete, vegetated walls, rooftop solar panels and a green roof to reduce its carbon footprint. Employees at the distribution center will have access to electric vehicle chargers, an on-site park and advanced recycling facilities.
Its central positioning in Germany enables it to fulfill demand in Europe, which the company said was experiencing an uptick in growth.
“This state-of-the-art distribution center is a critical next step to optimize growth in Europe and continue to push the envelope for sustainable operations,” said Stephen Berube, senior vice president, global distribution and logistics at LS&Co. “We are excited to partner with the city of Dorsten to create a centralized hub for our growth aspirations while investing in the future of the community.”
Germany is also a valuable location for European fashion retail chain C&A, which just recently dropped the first denim collection manufactured in its new jeans production facility in Mönchengladbach. Named Forever Denim, the “Made in Europe” collection features three jeans styles apiece for men and for women made with local organic cotton, Tencel and renewable energy.
Construction of the LS&Co.’s German facility will begin this year in partnership with Delta Development Group and the city of Dorsten. Though operations were originally slated to begin at the end of 2023, the target has been adjusted to April 2024. When the facility reaches full capacity at 55 million units, the company expects it will employ up to 650 workers.