Forests into Fashion

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 an 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 70 million trees are logged every year and turned into cellulosic fabric – if placed end to end those trees would circle the earth 7 times
  • Dissolving-pulp production is projected to double by 2050
  • Dissolving-pulp (the base material for rayon/viscose) wastes approximately 70% of the tree and is a chemically intensive manufacturing process
  • 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 and EILEEN FISHER are already doing to safeguard the world’s forests, species and climate.

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