Levis. Original jeans. Original hypocrisy.

Levi Strauss & Co. is so worried about CO2 emissions that it quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in protest over the Chamber’s opposition to climate legislation.

But if Levi Strauss were really concerned about CO2 levels, it would also go out of business.

According to the company’s own analysis, a typical pair of the company’s jeans is responsible for about:

  • 70 pounds of CO2 emissions;
  • 750 gallons of water use; and
  • 111 kilowatt-hours of electricity use.

About 450 million pairs of jeans are sold in the U.S. annually. Of this amount, about one-third are sold by Levi Strauss.

Simple math indicates, therefore, that Levi Strauss annual sales of jeans are responsible for about:

  • 7.5 million tons CO2 emissions — equal to the annual emissions of 625,000 SUVs;
  • 112 billion gallons of water use — about the annual water use of 879,000 homes; and
  • 1.67 gigawatt-hours of electricity use — about the annual use of 150,000 average homes.

To help Levi Strauss save the planet, then, the answer is clear: we should go naked and it should go broke.

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