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Levi Strauss, C&A Test Home Compostable Polybags

Fashion for Good, the global platform supporting innovation in the fashion industry, is augmenting its ongoing effort to introduce better packaging for apparel and footwear.

The organization has launched the Home-Compostable Polybag Project, a six-month pilot program in partnership with Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) and German retailer C&A, that will test alternatives to conventional single-use plastic bags that are used to protect and ship merchandise in the apparel and footwear sectors.

An estimated 180 billion are produced each year according to Fashion for Good. Virgin polybags usually use fossil fuel to produced their plastic, have a high carbon footprint and are rarely recycled and usually landfilled.

The new initiative will see LS&Co. and C&A use bags made from bio-based material and can be composted at home or in community compost piles. TIPA Corp. and Greenhope, two sustainably minded packaging companies, helped create the bags.

TIPA Corp. is certified by TÜV Austria OK Compost Home and Greenhope is undergoing certification for DIN CERTCO Home Compostable. These certifications are according to both the French standard NFT 51-800 and the Australian standard AS 5810.

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The newly launched bags’ bio-based polymers are generated from biological feedstock, such as food crops, organic waste and wood pulp. The final compostable plastic blends are generally derived from a mix of bio-based materials and petroleum feedstocks. The polybags used in the project contain 23-25 percent bio-based content.

“The Home-Compostable Polybag Project with Fashion for Good is an exciting opportunity to pilot a solution for an ecommerce element our customers are all too familiar with—the polybag,” said Jeffrey Hogue, chief sustainability officer at Levi Strauss & Co. “This pilot not only moves us toward achieving our goal of eliminating single-use plastic in consumer-facing packaging by 2030, it also puts into practice the industry collaboration required to solve these ubiquitous challenges in hopes of reducing harmful elements within the apparel supply chain.”

This pilot­—the third Fashion for Good polybag project following the Circular Polybag Pilot (completed in 2020) and Reusable Packaging (completed 2021) projects—will benchmark these innovative new bags against conventional plastics in supply chains and measure the overall impact and associated costs of the materials.

“Plastic waste pollution is a massive systemic issue and this collaborative platform approach is one of the most effective ways to quickly arrive at credible, scaled solutions,” added Tommy Tjiptadjaja, CEO and co-founder of Greenhope. “Through our technology, Greenhope is ready, willing and able to support this all the way to its positive conclusion: linking sustainable consumption and production of global brands with positive social impact among developing countries’ farmer coops who provide the bio-based raw materials.”