American denim giant Levi Strauss & Co. announced Tuesday that
it is launching a series of new initiatives to benefit groups
working to prevent gun violence.
Levi Strauss’s CEO and President Chip Bergh wrote in Fortune on
Tuesday that the company “simply cannot stand by silently when
it comes to issues that threaten the very fabric of the
communities where we live and work.”
“You may wonder why a company that doesn’t manufacture or sell
guns is wading into this issue, but for us, it’s simple,” Bergh
wrote. “Americans shouldn’t have to live in fear of gun
violence. It’s an issue that affects all of us — all generations
and all walks of life."
Bergh said it was his responsibility to speak up for important
issues since he leads a “values-drive company that’s known the
world over as a pioneer of the American West and one of the
great symbols of American freedom.”
He added that he is not advocating to repeal the 2nd Amendment
nor calling gun owners irresponsible.
"We can’t insulate ourselves from every threat," Bergh wrote.
"We can’t 'harden' every place we gather — whether it be our
schools, workplaces, shops, churches, or entertainment venues.
But we can take common-sense, measurable steps — like criminal
background checks on all gun sales — that will save lives."
Levi's, therefore, announced a new three-tiered initiative to
support gun violence prevention.
The company will donate more than $1 million over the next four
years to nonprofits and youth activists that work to end gun
violence, establishing the “Safer Tomorrow Fund.”
The blue jean manufacturer also partnered with gun control group
Everytown for Gun Safety and other executives to form Everytown
Business Leaders for Gun Safety.
Bergh called the group a coalition of business leaders who
“believe, as we do, that business has a critical role to play in
and a moral obligation to do something about the gun violence
epidemic in this country.”
Levi’s will also double all donations made by their employees to
the Safer Tomorrow Fund.
Bergh acknowledged that the decision to advocate for gun control
is a controversial one.
“While taking a stand can be unpopular with some, doing nothing
is no longer an option,” he wrote.