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Levi’s Launches Fellowship for Sustainable Apparel Entrepreneurs

Levi’s has recently been receiving a lot of attention for starting to clean up denim’s dirty environmental footprint with the Waterless collection and program. Now the brand is looking to inspire the next generation of sustainable innovators with the LS&Co. Collaboratory, an annual fellowship program for entrepreneurs interested in working toward a more sustainable apparel industry.

The main facet of the fellowship will be a workshop taking place at the Eureka Innovation Lab in San Francisco, offering fellows the opportunity to work alongside leaders in design, innovation and sustainability. In addition to the workshop, the fellows may receive up to $50,000 in funding to implement their solutions.

Every year, the Collaboratory will focus on a specific social or environmental issue such as textile waste or workers’ rights. The initial program will work specifically with entrepreneurs looking to develop new technologies and methodologies to reduce their water footprint.

Chip Bergh, president and CEO of LS&Co., said, “The LS&Co. Collaboratory embeds the principles we’ve followed over the last 163 years to help foster the next generation of designers and entrepreneurs so that together we can build an apparel industry that restores the environment and protects our most vital resources.”

Levi’s is picking leaders from small organizations that make an apparel product or provide an apparel-related service. Applications are open now, and the 2016 fellows will be announced later this summer.