Photo: bburkyMy friend Tony's closet is as good a place as any to begin an investigation of Walmart's environmental impact. Tony has a pair of Levi's that date back to high school more than 20 years ago. They still fit him and they're still in rotation. The fabric has a smooth patina that hints at its age, but, compared to another pair of Levi's he bought only a couple of years ago, this pair actually looks far less worn. The denim is sturdier, the seams more substantial, the rivets bigger.
Tony's old pair of Levi's may well have been made in the U.S, and they likely cost more than his new pair. The new ones were manufactured abroad -- Levi's closed its last U.S. factory in 2003 -- and, though Tony didn't buy them at Walmart, their shoddy construction can be blamed at least in part on the giant retailer and the way it's reshaping manufacturing around the world.