Fashion giants agree on forest-positive textile fiber collaboration
Leading fashion brands including H&M, Inditex, Kering and Stella McCartney have joined a new collaborative initiative to reduce deforestation and emissions by purchasing low-carbon alternative fibers for textile production and packaging.
The fashion firms, supported by Ben & Jerry’s and HH Global, have signed up to source “Next Generation Solutions” to fashion fibers through an initiative led by environmental nonprofit Canopy.
The companies have agreed to purchase more than half a million tonnes of next-generation fibers, which Canopy claims has a lower carbon footprint and a reduced biodiversity impact compared to traditional textile and packaging materials.
Canopy believes the announcement, made to coincide with COP27, will help the transition to nature-positive business models.
“We are thrilled to advance this commitment with forward-looking partners who are willing to challenge the status quo and in doing so provide a breakthrough for these game-changing technologies,” Canopy’s executive director and founder Nicole Rycroft said.
“This commitment will allow us to take a historic leap closer to the $64bn of investments in sustainable alternatives needed to ensure forest conservation for our planet’s climate and biodiversity stability.”
The investment will help build up to 20 new pulp mills for Next Generation materials, as well as providing farm communities with new markets to replace the common practices of burning straw residue and landfilling materials. Canopy claims it will prevent an estimated 2.2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions compared to the production of virgin forest fiber.
Canopy notes that less than one-third of the world’s largest companies have yet to make forest-based commitments. However, research suggests that at least 50% of the world’s forests need to be conserved by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C ambition.
The signatories have also committed to ensuring their respective supply chains are free of Ancient and Endangered Forests
“At H&M Group, we are committed to becoming a circular business, in which moving towards more sustainable alternatives for our materials is crucial. Canopy has showed true leadership by bringing the fashion and regenerated cellulosic industries together with the purpose of reducing fashion’s dependency on forests,” H&M’s environmental sustainability business expert Madelene Ericsson said.
“Innovative low-carbon solutions, such as regenerated cellulosic fibers from waste textiles, microbial cellulose or agricultural residues, will play a vital role to help us reduce our impact on climate and protect forests, so no ancient and endangered forests are put at risk to make fashion. These next generation solutions and collaborations like Canopy’s help us taking strong steps towards our goal for all our materials to be either recycled or sourced in a more sustainable way by 2030.”
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