Levi Strauss & Co., the owner of brands including Levi's and Dockers, has opted for a local approach for the initiatives it is implementing during the coronavirus crisis. In a message sent to employees, the Californian company's CEO, Chris Bergh, explained that its global offices have donated 10,000 medical-grade masks to health workers around the world and are currently investigating their capacity to produce more.
"We’ve […] heard from many of you asking what Levi Strauss & Co. is doing to help respond to the crisis," said the CEO. "We know our response will evolve as the impact of the crisis continues to play out – but to start with, we are committing $3 million to relief efforts, with a focus on employees, community partners, and supply chain workers."
Specifically, the group is looking to help its associates through the Red Tab Foundation, which allows employees to seek advice, largely from other employees, on matters such as health, finance, childcare, and debt management.
The world's largest denim group is also directing funds into the Levi Strauss Foundation, which "is focused on supporting vanguard organizations that are championing marginalized people who are likely to be most affected." Charities supported by the group are based both in the U.S. and abroad and include "Chinese for Affirmative Action," whose activities directly affect some of the company's teams, as the organization aims to combat racism directed toward Asian Americans in the context of the coronavirus crisis.
Through the foundation, the company is also supporting VisionSpring, which is helping factories temporarily transition to the production of protective gear needed for community health workers in communities where apparel workers live. Other organizations receiving support from Levi Strauss include charities based in California and India, as well as international associations, such as Doctors Without Borders.
The company also announced that it has introduced a program designed to boost the effectiveness of its associates' actions in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. The group has launched a 3:1 employee giving campaign supporting international organizations, but also local associations, like Brussels-based Convivial, San Francisco's Spark, and Give2Asia, which works alongside healthcare professionals in Asia.
Furthermore, the American group stated that it is taking steps to support workers in its supply chain. "The Levi Strauss Foundation 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," explained the message to employees. "This will include a series of grants focused on public health support and food security for factory workers, particularly for women who are most vulnerable to economic shocks."