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Scenarios Explore Fashion World of 2025

Scenarios Explore Fashion World of 2025

Published 02-24-10

Submitted by Levi Strauss & Co.

Levi Strauss & Co. and Forum for the Future call for the fashion industry to work together to create a sustainable world in a new report launched today that explores the future of the trillion dollar sector.

Fashion Futures presents four vivid scenarios of the world of 2025 and the role of the fashion industry, helping companies around the globe navigate the ever-changing challenge of developing sustainable business.

Will climate change refugees spread new fashion influences around the world? Will a shortage of raw materials see us renting our clothes from libraries? Will technological advances make it common to grow what we wear?

The scenarios take account of the key factors that are already affecting the industry and will bring profound change over the next 15 years. They are designed as a tool to challenge companies' strategies, inspire them with new opportunities and help them plan for the future.

"For the fashion industry to be sustainable economically, it must be sustainable socially and environmentally too," said John Anderson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Levi Strauss & Co., who worked with independent sustainability experts Forum for the Future to produce the report.

"These provocative scenarios challenge all of us to look beyond the short term and use our collective power to work to create the kind of positive world we'd like to see in 2025," continued Anderson.

Peter Madden, Chief Executive of the Forum, said: "The global fashion industry generates a trillion dollars a year. What we wear "“ and how it's made and sold "“ can have a huge positive impact on our society and environment. This report describes how fashion's future could be greener."

Forum for the Future produced the four scenarios in collaboration with fashion experts from around the world in manufacturing, design and retail, as well as universities, trade unions and NGOs. They explore every aspect of the industry, from production of raw materials, through manufacturing and sale, to use and end of life. The four Fashion Futures scenarios follow:

    Slow is Beautiful presents a world of political collaboration and global trade. "Slow fashion" is in vogue, and high street brands compete on sustainability credentials. Climate change refugees have introduced new fashion influences. People own fewer, but higher quality clothes. "Vintage" second-hand clothes are also popular, bought and sold online. People also wear "smart" clothes, which monitor their health and wellbeing. Japan specialises in remanufacturing the world’s used garments.

    In Community Couture, self-sufficient communities are thriving in a world struggling to cope with the impacts of climate change and resource shortages. Only the rich can afford new clothing, and factories that still make clothes from raw materials need protection from armed gangs. People rent garments from clothing libraries or make their own in community recycling centres. Second-hand clothing is a valuable resource and nothing is thrown away.

    The prosperous world of Techno-Chic has benefited from an early switch to a low-carbon economy and huge technological investment. 3-D body scanners allow people to "try on" clothes in virtual mirrors. Modular clothing, produced by machines in China, is customised in store to individual taste. The latest craze is "Chameleon" clothing, a military spin-off, offering a blank canvas which can change colour and style, programmed to mimic the celeb of the moment. Clothes are designed to biodegrade or be reused.

    In Patchwork Planet, the world has fragmented into competing blocs with rapidly changing fashions inspired by religious and cultural ideals. Western clothes are banned in much of the Middle East. Resource shortages have driven innovation: garments can be "grown" from bacterial cellulose. Clothes are designed to be zipped, tucked and strapped to create many different looks, and post-purchase services allow owners to update them in line with the latest local trend.

Fashion Futures will be launched during London Fashion Week at an event hosted by Levi Strauss & Co. and Forum for the Future at London's Southbank Centre on February 23rd. A presentation on the project is on the programme for the Defra Sustainable Clothing Roadmap conference the same day, an annual industry event on sustainable clothing.

The full report and a set of four animations based on the scenarios are available from

For more information and to arrange interviews contact:
Forum for the Future

Alex Johnson, Media and Publications Officer, or +44 (0) 20 7324 3624

David Mason, Head of Communications, or +44 (0) 20 7324 3631

Levi Strauss & Co.
Amber McCasland, Director of Communications for Europe, Middle East and Africa, or +32.(0)2.641.6348

Kelley Benander, Director of Communications, or +1.415.501.7598

Endorsements of Fashion Futures
"Fashion Futures makes an important contribution to the longer-term sustainability of clothing production. By providing four provocative scenarios of future worlds in 2025, Fashion Futures can help companies develop responses to key social and environmental challenges." Mike Barry, Head of Sustainable Business, Marks & Spencer.

"Companies need to be seeding innovation and new ideas now in order to thrive in a resource constrained world. We need thought-provoking research like Fashion Futures to help us collaborate and advocate for the right future solutions around the most important issues on sustainability." Hannah Jones, Vice President, Sustainable Business and Innovation, Nike Inc.

Notes to Editors
Fashion Futures is a collaboration between Forum for the Future and Levi Strauss & Co. and forms part of the Forum's work on sustainable fashion. Fashion experts from a range of organisations were interviewed for the project including Oxfam, The Environmental Justice Foundation, American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, Dupont, and the International Labour Rights Forum. A full list is available in the report.

Forum for the Future also designed and led a university module based on the scenarios with students on the groundbreaking course, MA Fashion and the Environment at London College of Fashion. The report contains student illustrations of fashion product and service solutions that would flourish in 2025.

Further information on the Sustainable Clothing Roadmap conference is at

The global apparel, accessories and luxury goods market generated total revenues of $1,334.1 billion in 2008 - Consumer Goods: Global Industry Guide, Datamonitor, March 2009

About Forum for the Future
Forum for the Future, the sustainable development charity, works in partnership with leading businesses and public service providers, helping them devise more sustainable strategies and deliver new products and services which enhance people's lives and are better for the environment.

About Levi Strauss & Co.
Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world's largest branded apparel companies and the global leader in jeanswear, marketing its products in more than 110 countries worldwide. The company designs and markets jeans, casual wear and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi's®, Dockers® and Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.™ brands.

Almost two decades ago, through its Terms of Engagement (TOE), LS&Co. was the first company to commit to only doing business with suppliers who met its labor, environmental, health and safety standards. The company followed with industry-leading water quality standards, a global list of restricted substances, and in 2005, the public disclosure of its suppliers worldwide. Levi Strauss & Co. is focused on reducing its corporate environmental footprint on energy, water, and materials. The Levi's® brand recently launched "A Care Tag for Our Planet" partnership with Goodwill®. LS&Co. is the first major retailer to use product care tags to encourage people to take simple steps to care for the planet by caring for their clothes, including donating used garments to keep them out of landfills.

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