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HomeFashionArizona Muse on Destructive Link Between Deforestation and Fashion Industry

Arizona Muse on Destructive Link Between Deforestation and Fashion Industry

The impact of the fashion industry on the planet is widespread and overwhelming of: the water it needs; chemicals and their emissions into the natural environment; mining of metals for zippers and ornaments; the quality of waste; the degrading impact of industrial agriculture on soil and biodiversity. Yet fashion’s destructive effects on forests have been relatively quiet. Research has shown that % of tree-based fashion fabrics may be associated with Deforestation related, at the expense of soil health, endangered animals, native plants and indigenous communities.

Exceed200 Every year millions of trees felled are converted into cellulose fabrics such as viscose, rayon, lyocell, modal, cupro and tencel. Many of these come from primary forests, of which less than percentages remain adequate Large capacity to maintain native plants and animals. In addition, the chemically-intensive process of making rayon and viscose materials wastes up to two-thirds of trees, according to a report by the nonprofit Canopy. Unsustainable animal husbandry, of which much is used to produce leather, is the cause of Percent destruction of the Amazon rainforest, home to over 3 million animals and over 2 animals, 2020 tree species. More than half of the EarthH tropical forests have disappeared if Not surprisingly, all of these forests may be degraded or destroyed within the next500 years .

Obviously we need real action and speed. It’s time for the fashion industry to look inside our supply chain and ask ourselves: What is the environmental cost at the expense of profits? What can we do to reverse this situation?

Some Fashion brands that ultimately benefit from ending deforestation – Nike, ASOS, Swiss Textile, Varner, New Look, H&M, Primark, Marks & Spencer and Adidas to name a few – have called for increased regulations. For example, Adidas joined 26 other companies 2020 in a joint statement called for cross-sectoral mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence legislation across the EU.

While brands need to take action internally, the industry also has a strong global voice that can last forever . Model Activist is a community of 26 fashion people, launched launched a #supplychange campaign, collectively asking fashion brands to end contracts with leather suppliers responsible for deforestation and publicly supporting legislation to increase supply chain transparency. Personally, it’s been great to see my friends Cameron Russell and Áine Campbell (who founded and run Model Activist) drive change. I urge anyone and everyone to join this space. It can be very rewarding to see a person’s actions have an impact.

Ultimately, however, it takes more than a personal or brand effort to fight this disruption. At last summer’s G7 summit, a global consortium of fashion industry companies called The Fashion Pact presented to the heads of state its goals: stop global warming, restore biodiversity and protect the oceans. It’s a promising step, but to ensure real results, the league must focus on where they can really make an impact. From sourcing biodynamic growth materials that actually give back to the planet and nourish the soil, rather than taking it from the soil, to giving a collective voice to regulations and laws that protect the environment. For example, currently, the United States is developing new regulations to curb global deforestation. Two are state bills, the California Deforestation Free Procurement Act and the New York State Deforestation Free Procurement Act, and the third is a bipartisan federal bill called the Forest Act. These proposals feel like signs of the future, with all our government bills – and our wider lives – supporting life on Earth.

For now, unfortunately, many of the clothes we love are associated with deforestation and other environmental hazards. If this thought scares you as much as I do, I call on you to ask your favorite brands to step up forest protection and publicly accept the three bills on the table. Use the power of social media, email or call them. We need everyone to choose action.



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