What does fashion have to do with deforestation? Everything, if you ask Canopy. The British Columbia–based forestry nonprofit has been rallying designers, brands, and retailers such as Eileen Fisher, H&M, Marks & Spencer, and Zara to eliminate the use of endangered-forest fibers in their rayon, modal, and viscose clothing. “It was through Canopy that we found out the shocking figures that 100 million trees a year can be cut down solely for the use of fabric,” says designer Stella McCartney, an ambassador for the group’s Canopy Style campaign, says in a short film, which premiered at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in New York City last week. “When Canopy approached me, I didn’t hesitate for a moment to be part of the solution.”
SPEAKING FOR THE TREES
Rising demand for dissolving pulp, projected to increase over the next 40 years, is depleting some of the world’s most ancient forests, according to Nicole Rycroft, Canopy’s executive director.
“Having the support of iconic champions like Stella McCartney and 65 leading brands has catalyzed viscose producers responsible for 75 percent of global rayon supply to commit to safeguard endangered forests,” Rycroft said in a statement. “We’re excited for this momentum to translate into tangible solutions and the protection of the world’s forests—for the animals and communities who call them home.”
After launching in 2013, Canopy Style has garnered support from more than 65 industry leaders, including several rayon and viscose producers.
McCartney herself has pledged to use only cellulose fibers that meet “strict sustainability standards” by 2017. In addition, all the wood in her accessories is Forestry Stewardship Council-certified.
“Forests provide us with clean water and air, anchor soil in watersheds, and produce fuel, food, medicine, and resources such as timber, as well as being the habitat for the majority of the worlds’ birds and animals,” her eponymous label said in 2014. “These organizations are work to manage and sustain the biodiversity of the world’s forests, as well as protect the people who live and work within them.”