It appears American denim giant Levi Strauss & Co. wants to be on the right side of the history, as the company’s CEO recently called on business leaders in power to address the ongoing problem of gun violence in the country.
In a letter posted on the Fortune, company president Chip Bergh revealed a series of new initiatives he plans to undertake in order to help groups working to prevent gun violence.
“As president and CEO of a values-driven company that’s known the world over as a pioneer of the American West and one of the great symbols of American freedom, I take the responsibility of speaking up on the important issues of our day very seriously. We can’t take on every issue. But as business leaders with power in the public and political arenas, we simply cannot stand by silently when it comes to the issues that threaten the very fabric of the communities where we live and work,” he wrote.
Bergh, in a pretty descriptive op-ed, said he wasn’t advocating repealing the Second Amendment neither did he personally attack gun owners.
"We can’t insulate ourselves from every threat," he 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."
In addition, the brand also released a three-tiered planto support gun violence prevention.
Firstly, the company announced it has created the “Safer Tomorrow Fund.”
It plans to direct over $1 million in grants to the fund in the next four years. The money will reportedly be used to help young activists and other gun control nonprofit organizations battling the gun violence epidemic.
The blue jean manufacturer also announced a partnership with Everytown Business Leaders for Gun Safety and other business leaders to form a coalition of like-minded individuals 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.”
Finally, Levi’s announced it will double all donations made by their employees and direct it to the Safer Tomorrow Fund.
However, it isn’t the first time the CEO of American jean giant has pledged his support to gun violence prevention.
Back in 2016, Bergh posted an open letter to customers on LinkedIn. In the letter, he made clear the denim retailer wouldn’t tolerate any sort of weapons in any of their stores, offices or other properties associated with the brand.
He also cited an incident where the weapon “inadvertently went off, injuring the customer who was carrying it.”
Levi’s has joined the list of private companies who are trying to play their part in the public debate about how to best counteract the growing problem of gun violence.
For instance, following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, earlier this year, Dick's Sporting Goods decided to destroy the unsold guns instead of selling them back. Later, big names such as Walmart, Kroger/Fred Meyer, and L.L. Bean, also followed suit and raised the minimum age requirement for the gun owners.
Predictably, the announcements from Levi’s sparked divisive opinions on social media.
Loving the leadership coming from corporate America in the past 24 hours. https://t.co/P6Fd6NJr8i— Kelly Hoey (@jkhoey) September 4, 2018
By standing on the right side of history, @LEVIS is sending a strong cultural signal that American companies can and should take a stand on this issue and put safety first. We are proud to stand for gun safety with one of America's most iconic companies.— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) September 4, 2018
Levi Strauss launches gun-control initiative: 'We simply cannot stand by silently' https://t.co/bVa98kxokd— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) September 4, 2018
What does gun control have to do with making blue jeans? Your CEO is an idiot. He thinks there will be a backlash? How about no one buying your crap?— Randy Street - NRA (@Rstreet212) September 5, 2018
I have a few pair of levis. No more. There are plenty of competitors to choose from. I will do that.
More idiot leadership
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