Eco-Spotlight: Paul Dillinger
One of the best ways to go green is by doing it big! The purpose of shifting into an eco-friendly mindset is not only to make a difference in your life individually, but by spreading your influence to others. One man who is making a big impact in the fashion world with his “green” ideas is Paul Dillinger, the Senior Director of Global Design for Color, Concept, and Dockers® Collection at Levi Strauss & Co.
He has had a long life in fashion so far, receiving his BFA in Fashion Design from Washington University in St. Louis and his MFA from the Domus Academy in Milan. Dillinger has been a fashion designer for many years at a variety of different fashion houses. He started working with Levi Strauss & Co. in 2010 when he moved from New York fashion over to the west coast. He was able to partner with the Social and Environmental Sustainability group at Levi Strauss & Co. to develop and apply methods for further sustainability in their designs. Dillinger also taught fashion and design at Washington University to show students the importance of sustainable design and respect for factory workers.
This year, Paul Dillinger was awarded a highly respected Aspen Institute First Mover Fellowship. The fellowship is a 12-month award designed to integrate business profitability with social value. The fellowship incorporates three seminars based around innovation, leadership, and reflection and community. Dillinger hopes to use his fellowship to change the way people think of value and the value of clothes. He wants to influence a shift in the fashion industry to see more acceptable labor practices, products which encourage social goodness, and pulling more weight towards being environmentally friendly.
Dillinger’s efforts in his position as Senior Director of Global Awareness at Levi Strauss & Co. include projects like the Better Cotton Initiative and A Care Tag for Our Planet. The purpose of these programs is to encourage consumers to care for their clothes in an eco-friendly and resourceful manner. The BCI program strives to make global cotton production better for producers, consumers, and the environment. Levi’s also includes some “green” instructions on their care tags, such as “Donate to Goodwill when no longer needed and care for our planet”.
Platforms like the BCI and Care Tag for Our Planet are so impactful when they come from a vast, widespread denim company like Levi Strauss & Co. Thanks to this corporation and its major contributors like Paul Dillinger, we can all continue to be more eco-friendly! What better way to support the sustainability of our environment than by starting with supporting the sustainability of our jeans?
Written By: Christine Kunz