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PETA buys stake in Levi Strauss to push for vegan leather patches

Shortly after Levi Strauss & Co.'s stock market debut on March 21, animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced that it purchased shares in the U.S. jeans-maker to call on the company to replace animal leather with vegan leather patches on its jeans.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, said it acquired the minimum number of shares required to submit shareholder resolutions and to attend and speak at annual meetings.

The organization criticized Levi Strauss' use of cow skins to make its leather patches, saying animal leather use "has at least three times the negative environmental impact as most vegan leather."

"PETA is urging Levi's to recognize that if the company is truly committed to sustainable and progressive practices, the most effective way to reduce its environmental impact is to use vegan materials," the group said.

Levi Strauss did not respond to S&P Global Market Intelligence's request for comment.

The nonprofit organization recently succeeded in its campaign to ban the use of animal products by global retailers. U.S. consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble Co. in September 2018 announced that it will no longer use badger hair for its line of shaving products following calls from PETA.

U.K. online fashion retailer Asos PPLC and Swedish fast fashion giant H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB also heeded PETA's calls in 2018, pushing Asos to ban the sale of animal-derived products from its platform and H&M to permanently discontinue the use of mohair.

Following PETA's disclosure, the jeans-maker's shares fell 1.29% to $22.12 at closing March 22.