Forests into fashion

lauren moss 1
Photo by Grewal

Canopy is partnering with fashion brands, designers and their viscose suppliers to keep the world’s endangered forests out of viscose/rayon clothing through the CanopyStyle initiative.
From the catwalks of Milan to New York’s 7th Avenue, from your favorite boutique to the local mall, fashion increasingly has a hidden cost that doesn’t show up on the price tag. Fashion designers, clothing brands and apparel manufacturers are likely unaware that some of their stylish fabric creations are made from trees – let alone the trees of ancient and endangered forests.

Canopy research has found that, increasingly, these forests are being used in the manufacture of dissolving pulp to produce fabrics such as rayon/viscose, modal and lyocell. In fact:

  • More than 150 million trees are logged every year and turned into cellulosic fabric – if placed end to end those trees would circle the earth 7 times
  • Between 2013 and 2020, it is expected that the number of trees being logged every year and turned into fabric such as viscose will have doubled.
  • Dissolving-pulp (the base material for rayon/viscose) wastes approximately 70% of the tree and is a chemically intensive manufacturing process¹
  • Less than 20 percent of the world’s ancient forests remain in intact tracts large enough to maintain biological diversity.
  • Forests in Indonesia, Canada’s Boreal and temperate rainforests and the Amazon are being logged for next season’s fashion and apparel.

Follow the thread from skirts, suits and t-shirts to their source and learn how your fabric and fashion choices can affect the future of communities in Indonesia, the endangered Sumatran tiger, the songbirds of the vast Boreal forest or the grizzly bears of the Great Bear Rainforest.

Find out what some designers and clothing companies like Levi Strauss & Co., Marks & Spencer, EILEEN FISHER, Gap inc., Stella McCartney, VF Corporation, Inditex/Zara and H&M are already doing to safeguard the world’s forests, species and climate.

Join us and be a part of ensuring that clothing is as good for the forest as it is faltering to the figure.

For the most recent information on the CanopyStyle initiative read the CanopyStyle 4th Anniversary Report.


¹Canopy and the CanopyStyle initiative are focused specifically on the raw material inputs for fabrics such as rayon, viscose, modal and other trademarked fabrics made from cellulose, with the goal to eliminate sourcing from the world’s ancient and endangered forests and increase conservation in forests landscapes of hope.
We are mindful that dissolving pulp and viscose processing are resource and chemical-intensive processes, and that they can lead to air and water emissions that impact overall environmental quality and human health that are equally important to the impacts related to raw material sourcing on forests, water, climate and communities. We also know that several organizations, including ZDHC, Cradle-to-Cradle, Greenpeace, NRDC and Changing Markets, are raising the profile of hazardous waste and unsafe chemical use in the fashion sector, and are providing guidance, compliance roadmaps and future solutions to create change in the industry. Canopy encourages and supports our brand and producer partners to invest and make use of the cleanest dissolving pulp and viscose manufacturing technologies, such as closed-loop systems. As investments are being made in viscose facilities to address chemical use in processing, forward-thinking producers can take advantage of the opportunity to simultaneously invest in scaling up the commercial production of textiles made from innovative, lower-impact feed stocks such as recycled fabrics and agricultural residues.