December 1, 2015. Originally published in Sustainable Brands by Hannah Furlong.
Not-for-profit environmental organization Canopy has recruited big fashion brands in the fight to protect endangered forests since launching its CanopyStyle campaign in October 2013. Last week, the organization announced that Arcadia Group, C&A China, and Lindex joined the initiative and committed to ensuring their supply chains do not use ancient and endangered forests for fabrics such as rayon and viscose by 2017.
Viscose fibers are made from wood pulp and are widely used in clothing and textiles. This year, Canopy has made huge strides in refining viscose supply chains to be less destructive. In May, Canopy announced it had collaborated with the largest viscose producer in the world, Aditya Birla Group, to craft a sourcing policy that included an immediate commitment to not source from endangered forests and endangered species habitat. Canopy previously garnered commitments from fashion brands, designers and retailers including H&M, Zara/Inditex, Levi Strauss & Co, Marks & Spencer, EILEEN FISHER, Stella McCartney, and G-Star Raw.
“With 55 brands representing $85 billion in annual sales now joining together to protect forests there is a clear market signal to fabric producers: eliminate sourcing from endangered forests,” said Nicole Rycroft, Founder and Executive Director of Canopy. “What’s exciting is how this momentum is already translating back through the supply chain to alleviate stress on critical forest hotspots like Indonesia’s rainforests and Canada’s Boreal.”
The latest commitments will bring supply chain accountability to several trend-setting brands. British multinational retailer Arcadia boasts labels including TopShop, Burton Menswear, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Topman, and Wallis. Dutch fashion chain C&A has nearly 2,000 stores worldwide, with 88 locations in China. C&A eluded to expanding its commitments across its global operations in the future, which offer brands including Yessiza, Canda, Angelo Litrico, Westbury, Clockhouse, Your Sixth Sense,Rodeo, Here+There, and Palomino.
“C&A is excited to join such an important effort and one that aligns with our global sustainability strategy. We are starting with our operations in China, as it is a key retail market for us,” said Jeff Hogue, Chief Sustainability Officer C&A Global. “By joining the CanopyStyle initiative, C&A China will bring more sustainable products to our customers in China and create opportunities to drive more sustainable textile and fashion manufacturing in this region.”
Lindex is a Swedish fashion chain that has over 480 stores offering women’s wear, lingerie, and kids’ wear across Europe. The company reached out to Canopy with an interest in joining the initiative, to help achieve their target to sustainably source at least 80 percent of their garments by 2020.
“Lindex has a strong handle on our supply chain, we see Canopy as a well-positioned partner to help us build a clear picture of who our viscose suppliers should and shouldn’t be moving forward,” said Anna-Karin Dahlberg, Production Support Manager at Lindex. “We are pleased to make this commitment for the future of world’s forests and the people, plants and animals that call these forests home.”