Fashion brands

Forbes India – Environment: How Big Fashion Brands Could Contribute to Deforestation in the Amazon

Big fashion brands are at risk of contributing to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest due to their links with tanneries and other companies involved in leather production.
Image: Paralaxis / Shutterstock

A The report by the NGO Stand.earth highlights the links between certain major fashion brands and suppliers whose activity contributes to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. The main cause is the production of leather clothing and accessories.

LVMH, Prada, H&M, Zara, Adidas, Nike, New Balance, UGG … The unfortunate commonality between these brands? Their potential role in deforestation in the Amazon. A number of major fashion brands could indeed contribute to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest due to their links with tanneries and other companies involved in leather production.

This is what a study by the NGO Stand.earth suggests, which revealed that more than 50 fashion brands sold around the world have multiple links with JBS, the largest Brazilian leather exporter, known for its impact on Amazon deforestation.

While the study does not demonstrate a direct link between every brand and Amazon deforestation, the researchers found multiple connections in the fashion industry’s global supply chains. Indeed, to meet consumer demand for wallets, handbags and leather shoes, the fashion industry will have to slaughter 430 million cows per year by 2025, according to an article by The Guardian.

Much of the leather in our closets comes from cattle raised in the Amazon rainforest. However, cattle breeding is considered to be one of the main causes of deforestation in the Amazon, where trees are destroyed to transform land into grazing areas (53 million hectares destroyed in the Amazon basin in 2017, against 14 million in 1985, according to the Mapbiomas Platform).

Between fires and intensive agricultural activities, the world’s largest rainforest has experienced an alarming decline in recent years. According to a study published last April in Nature Climate Change, between 2010 and 2019, the Brazilian Amazon emitted about 18% more carbon than it absorbed, with 4.45 billion tonnes released, against 3 , 78 billion tonnes stored. The gradual disappearance of the Amazon rainforest is one of the “tipping points” identified by experts, which could lead to a dramatic and irreparable change in the climate system.

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