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FASHION BRANDS TO FIND ALTERNATIVES FOR FOREST FIBRES CONTRIBUTING TO DEFORESTATION

Every year, Canopy - a not-for-profit organisation - estimates that millions of trees in endangered forests are cut, chipped and then treated with a chemical concoction to break them down into a pulp slurry. Indonesian and Chinese factories turn the chemical pulp into viscose filaments, which are then spun into fabrics that make their way into the fashion manufacturing process and eventually into stores.

Canopy estimates that up to 100m trees are logged every year for fabric. For this reason, designers and apparel brands including Stella McCartney, H&M, Eileen Fisher, Zara/Inditex and Quiksilverhave committed toeliminate endangered forests from their fabrics.

To phasing out controversial forest-fibre, these companies are looking to shift to alternatives such as recycled fabrics, non-wood alternatives, organic and socially sustainable cottons and, where tree fibre is used, eco-certified Forest Stewardship Council plantations.

The common argument in favour of forest-fibres is that trees are a renewable resource but the reality on the ground is that the animals that depend on these forests are listed as critically endangered or threatened because of the loss of their forest habitat.

Furthermore, in 2007 Indonesia was found to be the world's third largest greenhouse gas emitting nation, due to its unprecedented record of deforestation. It takes decades to recuperate the carbon lost to the atmosphere after logging. A forest habitat is not as renewable as an individual tree may be.

Once apparel industry leaders start refusing to source from endangered forests, their suppliers will be motivated to find better, more sustainable, alternatives.

 

The gLAWcal Team

POREEN project

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

(Source: the Guardian)