September 22, 2016 – Canopy’s executive director, Nicole Rycroft, helped kick off the opening of the General Assembly of the United Nations at the Fashion 4 Development First Ladies Luncheon yesterday. In New York for the event, Rycroft took to the stage alongside fashion and celebrity social justice advocates Arianna Huffington, Annie Lennox, Livia Firth and Natalia Vodianova to name a few. The First Ladies Luncheon honours leaders in the worlds of fashion and social and environmental responsibility.
In her address, Rycroft introduced the successful CanopyStyle campaign, which enlists the fashion industry to stop the use of endangered forests in the production of rayon and viscose fabrics by 2017, and to kick-start production of sustainable alternatives. With 120 million trees currently disappearing into fabrics, increased rayon production could eventually threaten landscapes of hope such as the Broadback Forest in Canada’s Boreal and the orang-utans of Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem.
She noted that the CanopyStyle campaign has become the fastest moving environmental issue within the apparel industry.
“With the support of 65 brands, we have secured conservation commitments from rayon producers that represent 70% of global production during the past three years,” she said. “CanopyStyle’s strong momentum showcases the tremendous power of bold collective action.”
The event, hosted in mid-town New York City, featured Livia Firth, Arianna Huffington and Yoo Soon-taek, wife of UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon. This year musician Annie Lennox, actor/activist Suzi Amis Cameron, supermodel Natalia Vodianova and Unilever CEO Paul Polman were all honoured with Fashion 4 Development awards. Fashion 4 Development promotes positive social change and harnesses the power of the fashion and beauty industries to implement strategies for sustainable economic growth. The First Ladies Luncheon celebrates the unprecedented cooperation between diplomacy and fashion for the greater good of women and children worldwide.
“It’s time to act. To act boldly and for us to re-imagine leadership for the common good,” said Rycroft, before asking the audience, comprised of 300 first ladies, film and cultural celebrities and fashion luminaries from around the world, to reach out to decision makers in their realm of influence to take action for the world’s endangered forests.
Canopy is an international not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting our forests, species and climate. Canopy collaborates with more than 750 companies to develop innovative solutions, to make their supply chains more sustainable, and to help protect our world’s remaining ancient and endangered forests. Canopy’s partners include H&M, Sprint, Penguin Random House, Zara, TC Transcontinental, The Globe and Mail, and Scholastic. Canopy’s work relies on the support of individual donors who share our passion for the planet.
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