The Levi’s® brand has a long history of supporting authentic self-expression and social causes that define our times. Beginning in the 1940’s during World War II, the company made a commitment to an integrated workforce despite heavy resistance from existing employees. By the 1970’s Levi’s® Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action legislation was in place formalizing their long-standing commitment to foster a diverse workforce. During the HIV/AIDS epidemic in 1983, company executives established comprehensive education and health services for employees and partners and in 1992 Levi’s® stood with LGBTQ couples amplifying a voice for same-sex marriages, becoming one of the first Fortune 500 companies to offer full partner benefits. Established in 1991, Levi’s® Terms of Engagement was the industry’s first comprehensive code of conduct, setting fundamental protection for worker rights and was further built upon in 2011 with the Worker Well-Being program, a global initiative to improve the lives of the people that make their clothing.
“Let us not take for granted the power that each and every one of our votes hold, to determine the future of our country. Voting is a privilege that honours those that fought, to grant us that right. On the 8th of May let’s go to the election polls in our numbers and ensure our voices are heard! It’s our responsibility.” – Maps Maponyane
In 1994 the brand began creating new ways of making jeans using less water which they shared with competitors to inspire industry-wide change. In 2010, the Cape Town factory in Epping started using Water<less technologies in their jean manufacturing process. Currently, over 75% of all jeans produced at this factory are made using Water<less technologies, with a goal of over 80% forecast for 2020.
More recently, on International Woman’s Day, the I Shape My World campaign once again saw Levi’s® at the center of culture, inspiring self-expression and originality by supporting women around the world who are making a positive impact on their community and shaping their worlds to uniquely fit them.
“I believe it’s important for anyone of voting age to participate in the political direction of their country, whether or not their party wins is not entirely the point because when we take charge of the conversation then we feel like we are part of the process. If we don’t get involved in political decisions about where the country goes then we actually have no control over the direction of where we want to go as a society. That’s why I think it’s important for South African’s to vote because collectively our vote forms the ultimate discussion on where we go next, regardless of who wins and also based on who wins too.” – MoFlava
It’s Your Voice. Vote.
The brand has always embraced the opportunity to bring about positive change in the world, this was evident in their efforts in the lead up to the US 2018 mid-term elections. They partnered with various organisations as well as big name celebrities to help spread the message of “It’s your Voice, It’s Your Vote”.
South Africa’s National Elections are just around the corner. In the 2014 election year, only 33% of eligible youth voted and Levi’s® believes this needs to change. The brand is lending its voice in a drive with some of the most influential men and women from across the cultural sphere to increase voter awareness and turnout on Election Day.
“Levi’s® is all about self-expression and at this time, your vote is the ultimate expression of your voice. We really wanted to get behind this and create a movement, particularly amongst the youth. There is power in them hearing this message coming from their favourite actress, musician or sportsperson and we are proud to partner with them to deliver it” said Candace Gilowey, Head of Marketing Levi Strauss South Africa.
“Your vote is your voice and power of choice of who gets to be accountable for systematic change. Put a X on it! Make your voice heard! Be a part of a generation that stands for something!” – Nomzamo Mbatha
Key partners taking a stand alongside the brand are DJ and producer Black Coffee, Actress Nomzamo Mbatha, rapper Rouge, cricketer Kagiso Rabada, TV presenters Maps Maponyane, Pabi Moloi, and Katlego Maboe, Metro FM DJ Moflava, rocker Francois Van Coke and Instagram darling Qaanita Orrie.
Each will share their personal motivation for voting on Election Day and a portrait image of themselves wearing the iconic Levi’s® Vote t-shirt. Over 1000 Levi’s® limited edition Vote t-shirts will be given away to the public through various competitions on the Levi’s® South Africa Instagram page as well as through the Instagram pages of the influencers joining the movement.
What can everyone do? Get out and VOTE. It’s your voice. It’s Your Vote. Use it.