SF Goodwill, San Francisco State University and Levi Strauss & Co. Join Forces to Upcycle Rescued Denim Samples at Earth Day ‘Mendables’ Event Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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SFSU apparel design students to transform damaged, first-quality jeans into sustainable fashion that rocks.

image courtesy of Lookbook.nu

“Last year, Goodwill diverted more than 21 million pounds from local landfills,” said Leslie Bilbro, Goodwill's Donations Directer. "Today, we're taking an innovative approach to harvest value from these damaged jeans and help SF meet zero waste goals."

Goodwill of San Francisco, San Mateo & Marin Counties (SF Goodwill), San Francisco State University (SFSU), Levi Strauss & Co., SFSU Apparel Design Students/Tailors, Denim Guru/Holy Stich founder Julian Dash

The SFSU community will get the chance to purchase unworn Levi’s® jeans that were used during the design review process, for $5 each. At adjacent sewing machines, apparel design students will mend, hem, embellish or otherwise transform the garments on the spot for $5-10 – creating one-of-a-kind looks that will tell a story of sustainability and style. Celebrity jeans-maker, Holy Stitch Founder, and SFSU fashion alumnus Julian Dash will also be working his magic to give second life to discarded denim.

Reviving the lost art of seamstressing, students will demonstrate a sustainable alternative to one-time “throwaway” fashion for their fellow students and faculty. Creating new value from textiles that would otherwise be down-cycled, they’ll aid Goodwill in continuing to reduce waste from local landfills – helping San Francisco hit its ambitious ‘Zero Waste by 2020’ goal.

At the Caesar Chavez Student Union of San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue; San Francisco, CA 94132.

Earth Day - Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 11am – 1pm

As the historic birthplace of jeans, the iconic incubator of innovative industries with a social conscious, and a C-40 model city for the Clinton Global Climate Initiative, San Francisco is leading the way to solve the growing dilemma of textile waste. SFGoodwill, SFSU and Levi Strauss & Co. are a key players in this effort.

Longtime Goodwill supporter Levi Strauss & Co. donates its unsellable sample garments to the nonprofit social enterprise, diverting them from landfill. To maximize the value of these generous donations, Goodwill promotes reuse and upcycling with a student audience – instead of sending the garments to a clothing salvager for shredding. The revenue raised supports Goodwill job placement and training programs giving local people in need a second chance through the power of work.

Goodwill partner San Francisco State University pioneered the idea of incorporating community service into its curriculum. The partnership with Goodwill provides a real-world example of how a new generation is rediscovering the lost art of repair and reuse to live stylishly in a world with limited resources. Proceeds from the mending of jeans will benefit the student-run Fashion Network Association of SFSU.


“Last year, Goodwill diverted more than 21 million pounds from local landfills,” said Leslie Bilbro, Director of Donations at Goodwill. “In the past, we might have sold these damaged jeans to textile salvage companies because they were not high enough quality for our stores. Today, we’re taking an innovative approach to harvest more value from these resources -- helping San Francisco meet its zero waste goals while drawing attention to the emerging culture of repair and reuse.”

“At Levi Strauss & Co., we are committed to giving back to our communities and our planet. Goodwill is a long-standing community partner that helps us do both,” said Michael Kobori, Vice President of Sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co. “This Earth Day, we’re thrilled to collaborate with Goodwill to give San Francisco State University students a fun way to shop while promoting sustainable reuse.”

“At one time in American history, being a tailor or seamstress was a highly sought-after profession,” said Apparel Design and Merchandising Associate Professor Constance Ulasewicz. “Driven by a distaste for cheap, disposable clothing, our students are rediscovering this craft and are riding a wave of adaptive reuse and upcycling. The beauty of working with Levi’s denim is that it’s crafted to last for years, making it worthy of the repair – and a great canvas for beautiful handwork.”


-Goodwill Tent
-3,000 Levi’s® Mendables
-Tables stocked with piles of Levi’s® Mendables for student shoppers
-7 SFSU Design Students manning sewing machines: mending, tailoring, hemming and embellishing
-Denim Guru, Julian Dash, operating an industrial sewing machine
-SFSU Student Shoppers trying on items and custom designing their looks


-SF Goodwill Spokesperson
-Levi Strauss & Co. Spokesperson
-San Francisco State Spokesperson
-Julian Dash, Holy Stitch!
-SFSU Design Student Tailor
-SFSU Student Shopper

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Deborah Bouck
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