On the occasion of World Rainforest Day a coalition of 45 major businesses jointly pledged to eliminate deforestation from their fashion supply chains including Ralph Lauren, Ted Baker, Sainsbury’s and Asda. This initiative was coordinated by non-profit Canopy.
It is not a new news that rainforests are particularly vulnerable to deforestation and species loss for a number of reasons. There is so much discussion about protecting rainforests and the announcement comes at a time when deforestation is believed increasing in the Amazon rainforest. In April, Satellite imagery of the forest showed a 55% year-on-year increase in clearance by area size.
Canopy’s CanopyStyle and Pack4Good which empower brands to remove the use of forestry products from ancient and endangered forests from their fashion and packaging supply chains respectively. Canopy is giving support to businesses to scale up solutions like microbial cellulose produced using food waste and certify materials as sustainably sourced or recycled or innovative ‘next generation’ materials.
A data shows that every year 150 million trees are logged for use as textiles, mainly for use as viscose. 6.5 million tons of virgin viscose are produced and 26 million tons of viscose landfilled annually. The use of viscose has repeatedly been linked to water and land pollution.
Canopy believes in collaborating rather than acting alone, to take holistic action against deforestation with fashion businesses leveraging their combined reach and purchasing power to help supply chains, policy. These 45 new signatories brings the membership of the CanopyStyle initiative to 259, where Levi Strauss, Stella McCartney, Marks & Spencer and H&M having previously signed up. Supporters of CanopyStyle collectively represent $370bn (£298bn) in total revenue.
Other than Canopy, Textile Exchange and Forum for the Future recently launched a new vision for transforming global supply chains in the coming decade, through which net-positive benefits could be delivered for people and the environment.