Lee® Launches New Global Sustainability Platform: For A World That Works™

Feb 03, 2020 Press Release Tags: Lee, Announcements, Sustainability

New Platform Coincides with the Launch of Lee Indigood™, a New Denim Collection that uses a Revolutionary Waterless Dyeing Process

GREENSBORO, N.C. - February 3, 2020 – Lee®, the iconic American apparel brand known for its timeless denim style and innovative apparel solutions, today introduced the brand’s first global sustainability platform. For A World That Works™ unites the brand’s legacy of innovation and purpose with a responsibility to build a stronger, more sustainable world.

Coinciding with the new sustainability platform, the brand launched Indigood™ Denim, a signature denim collection that eliminates water from the denim dyeing process, producing a more sustainable jean.

“As one of the most iconic denim brands in the world, the Lee brand understands its responsibility to help lead our industry toward a better future,” said Chris Waldeck, EVP and Global Brand President, Lee. “Our new sustainability platform is the roadmap that will guide our actions and help drive meaningful progress toward more positive environmental and social impacts.”

New Platform Guided by Three Focus Areas

The Lee brand’s new platform is guided by three key focus areas:

1. All People: Lee is committed to bringing more people together to transform the communities where the brand operates. Lee will continue to take action to prioritize worker well-being to ensure the health and safety of workers that contribute to Lee products globally. Lee also encourages and supports its employees to volunteer at organizations and for causes that will make a positive impact on the world.

2. Our Planet: Lee is committed to pursuing more sustainable solutions in the development and production of its products. This includes a focus on cleaner energy, further reducing waste and conserving the water used to manufacture Lee products.

3. Everything We Do: Lee is committed to finding more innovative design solutions to create better products that deliver on consumers’ growing demand for high-quality apparel that looks good and fits better, and upholds the brand’s social and environmental values. This will be achieved through technology-enabled eco-conscious design and manufacturing.

Committed to Sustainable Apparel Innovation & Industry Collaboration

With the brand’s launch of Indigood™ Denim, the Lee brand is replacing the traditional water vats and chemical baths of conventional indigo dyeing with a foam dye applicator, reducing the amount of water required by 100 percent, the energy required by 60 percent and the chemicals required by 89 percent. An additional sustainably produced product offering available in select markets this spring includes Back to Nature, a jean that is compostable.

In 2019, Lee partnered with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jeans Redesign. By forming guidelines that reduce waste associated with denim production, establishing requirements for jean durability and recyclability, and ensuring positive impacts on the environment, the initiative is transforming the brand’s approach to design. The guidelines are being integrated into an internal assement tool used to measure the sustainability performance of Lee products.

“We all know the urgency. We all feel the responsibility. Which is why, we passionately challenge ourselves and bring together people to create a more sustainable future,” said Roian Atwood, Senior Director, Sustainable Business, Kontoor Brands.

The new sustainability platform will expand globally in the coming months. The brand is also collaborating with industry experts and external stakeholders to create global sustainability goals, which will be announced later this year.

Learn more about Lee’s For A World That Works™ sustainability platform at Lee.com.

About Lee®

Lee®, a Kontoor Brands (NYSE: KTB) brand, is an iconic American denim and casual apparel brand. Lee's collections include a uniquely styled range of jeans, pants, shirts, shorts and jackets for men, women, and boys. Founded by H.D. Lee and backed by nearly 130 years of purposeful design and craftsmanship, Lee's movement-inspired innovations, versatile styling and superior fit continue to inspire generations of brand loyalists. For more information, please visit www.lee.com.

Media Contact Information

Julia Burge, 336-332-5122
Director, External Communications