Fashion and Textile Leaders for Forest Conservation shifting global viscose supply chain away from endangered forests

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, May 5 2014 — The newest trend in social responsibility in the apparel sector is taking flight in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam today as several of the world’s most influential clothing brands gather to develop a roadmap to green their supply chain and conserve endangered forests.

Brought together under the banner of environmental non-profit Canopy’s ‘Fashion Loved by Forest’ initiative, a select group of clothing brands including Stella McCartney, H&M, EILEEN FISHER and Inditex/Zara are starting to implement their endangered forest policy commitments through this collective effort. Together the group will advance the following priorities:

–Creating a shared “knowledge map” of the viscose supply chain to further understanding of raw fibre flow into fabric, enabling brands to eliminate endangered forest fibre from their clothing within the next three years;

–Supporting long-term conservation solutions in high priority forest regions such as Indonesia’s rainforests and Canada’s rainforests and Boreal forest; and

–Supporting the development of sustainable alternatives such as fabrics made from recycled materials and agricultural residues such as straw.

Currently, 70 to 100 million trees are cut down every year to feed the world`s appetite for textiles. Research shows at least one-third of those are from the planet`s ancient and endangered forests. Forests are cut, chipped and transformed into fibre filaments through the chemically intensive dissolving pulp process and then used to make viscose fabrics which are turned into and clothing such as t-shirts, dresses, jacket liners, etc.

“With demand for viscose slated to aggressively increase over the next decade, we have a unique window to curb its harmful impacts on the world’s endangered forests and species,” said Nicole Rycroft, Executive Director of Canopy. “We’re excited that this collective effort will maximize brands’ purchasing influence to help protect forests and engage viscose suppliers with a clear set of requirements that will place the fashion industry on a new path towards sustainability.”

The kick off meeting in Vietnam is the first of a series of sessions over the next three years that will identify information gaps and improve traceability by tracking fibre flow from the forest floor to the dissolving pulp mills and from there to the viscose manufacturing facilities. In addition to Canopy and the clothing brands, the world’s leading viscose suppliers will have a rotating presence as a collective understanding of the supply chain is developed to enable them to effectively address and end the use of endangered forests in fabric. Apparel industry leaders also hope to stimulate the development and production of fabrics made from recycled materials and straw as well as to create conservation legacies by influencing global decision makers to establish permanent and effective protection for high priority and threatened forest regions.

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact: 

Vancouver/Pacific Standard Time – Catherine Stewart, Communications Director, Canopy 1-604-916- 6722,

Vietnam/Indochina – Nicole Rycroft, Executive Director, Canopy, 1-778-987-9099,