Supply Chain Link to Deforestation

Sierra quitiquit brana Dane

Supply Chain Link to Deforestation

Big brands such as Coach, LVMH, Prada, H&M, Zara, Adidas, Nike, New Balance, Teva, UGG and Fendi have multiple connections to an industry that props up Amazon deforestation. Research from 2021 shows that the fashion industry’s complex global supply chain is putting us all at risk by negatively impacting the Amazon rainforest, also known as the “lungs” of the Earth.

For example, the recent reports show that a number of well-known fashion brands have significant ties with tanneries and other companies involved in the production of leather and leather goods. The sourcing of these leather goods requires land for the cattle; thusly these brands are at risk of contributing to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, based on their connection to these tanneries and leather sources.

The report by Slow Factory, analyzed nearly 500,000 rows of customs data. The groundbreaking analysis found multiple connections between big-name international fashion brands and tanneries or other companies directly leading to deforestation in the Amazon.

Why Does it Matter?

Protecting the Amazon rainforest from deforestation is crucial for several reasons:

1. Biodiversity: The Amazon rainforest is one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth, home to millions of plant and animal species, many of which are found nowhere else. Deforestation threatens this rich biodiversity, leading to habitat loss and species extinction.

2. Climate Regulation: The Amazon plays a critical role in regulating the global climate by absorbing and storing vast amounts of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas. Deforestation releases stored carbon back into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change and exacerbating its impacts.

3. Water Cycle: The Amazon rainforest acts as a giant water pump, releasing moisture into the atmosphere through evapotranspiration. This moisture forms clouds, which produce rainfall not only in the Amazon region but also in other parts of South America and beyond. Deforestation disrupts this water cycle, leading to decreased rainfall and drought in the region.

4. Indigenous Communities: The Amazon is home to numerous indigenous communities whose cultures, livelihoods, and traditional knowledge are deeply intertwined with the forest. Deforestation not only threatens their way of life but also undermines their rights and autonomy.

5. Medicinal Resources: The Amazon rainforest is a treasure trove of medicinal plants, many of which have been used for centuries by indigenous peoples to treat various ailments. Continued deforestation puts these valuable resources at risk, potentially depriving humanity of future medical breakthroughs.

6. Economic Value: The Amazon rainforest supports local economies through sustainable industries such as ecotourism, non-timber forest products, and traditional agriculture. Preserving the forest’s integrity ensures the long-term viability of these economic activities.

7. Global Responsibility: The Amazon rainforest is not only a national asset but also a global heritage that belongs to all humanity. Protecting it is a shared responsibility that requires international cooperation and collective action.

This story of deforestation linked to these fashion brands broke in The Guardian in late 2021. Influential figures in fashion signed on to a letter asking for the reformation of these harmful practices. I also signed this letter and recently attended a rally and march in NYC alongside Cameron Russell, Áine Rose Campbell, Renée Peters, Sinead Bovell (to name a few) and a large unified group of indigenous peoples from around the globe.

Brana Dane activist

Sierra Quitiquit hosted a sign-making gathering prior to the march at The Ned.

Making a sign

It took me a while to think of what to write on my sign, but I finally figured out that I mainly wanted to be direct and to the point with my signage.

At the rally before the march there were a lot of different groups assembled; there was even a very artistic performance with the actors in full costumes.

Supply chain rally

Have you ever attended a march before? Let me know in the comments below.

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