A new report into the fashion industry’s global supply chains has linked over 100 fashion brands to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, including Prada, Zara, H&M, Dr Martens, Fendi and many more.
The connection is based on the use of tanneries and manufacturers involved in the production of leather goods, according to the research.
Stand.earth, a supply chain research firm, analyzed 500,000 rows of customs data to make the shocking discovery.
While some brands have just one connection, over 50 have multiple supply-chain connections to the largest Brazilian leather exporter, JBS, which engages in Amazon deforestation.
JBS recently committed to achieving zero deforestation across its supply chain by 2035 – 14 years from now.
Slow Factory do mention that ‘none of these brands are deliberately choosing deforestation leather,’ but ‘are working with manufacturers and tanneries that source from opaque supply chains and companies that have known links to cattle raised on recently deforested Amazon land.’
Over 100 brands have been linked to Amazon Deforestation, many of which are amongst the most popular high street and designer brands.
Those high street brands with multiple connections to deforestation and referred to as ‘highest risk’ include H&M, Zara, River Island, Dr Martens, Adidas, Nike and M&S, whilst designer labels include Prada, Fendi, Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren.
Brands with a single connection include Maison Margiela, Charles & Keith, Toms, Esprit and Armani.
What can you do?
Stand.earth encourage you to take action, whether you’re linked to the fashion industry or not.
You can sign a letter demanding change in the fashion industry on their website. This demands brands ‘immediately suspend contracts with any and all suppliers that cannot provide full traceability throughout the entire cattle life-cycle’ and to ‘support the passage and robust enforcement of due diligence legislation in the EU, US, and UK.’
You can also download social media images to share on your channels to raise awareness.
If you work for a fashion brand, there’s another letter you can read and show to your company to enforce change.
It asks companies to disrupt the destructive supply chain and to ‘stop buying leather from suppliers who cannot prove full traceability back to the birth farm of the cattle, ‘support legislation that requires the cattle industry to provide full traceability’ and ‘making a public commitment to eliminate all deforestation from your products now.’