Press Releases

November 06, 2014

Fabulous Protest Brings Deforestation Concerns to Big Fashion’s Front Door

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, November 6th 2014

***Colorful high-resolution images of red carpet runway protest available here

CONTACT: Laurel Sutherlin, 415.246.0161 Laurel@ran.org

Activist models stage elaborate red carpet demo at storefronts of fashion brands implicated in forest destruction, rights abuse

San Francisco, CA – Today, shoppers in San Francisco’s central shopping district saw a different kind of fashion show when eight models in red dresses paraded down a red carpet catwalk in front of Prada, Victoria Secret and other storefronts waving placards, banners and mock chainsaws. The voguing women were using a playful medium to call attention to a serious message: many of the biggest names in the fashion industry are making their clothes at the expense of forest destruction, human rights abuses and climate pollution.

The activists and supporters present were part of Rainforest Action Network’s (RAN) Out of Fashion campaign which is targeting the ‘Fashion Fifteen’ – a group of brands implicated in deforestation. The campaign is calling on these brands to adopt policies that commit them to using only forest friendly fabrics in their products.

“Every year, millions of trees are turned into clothing through the use of dissolving pulp,” says Brihannala Morgan, senior forest campaigner with Rainforest Action Network (RAN). “This scandal has been hidden in plain sight for too long, but no more. The time has come for the fashion industry to take responsibility for its impacts on people and the planet and to publicly adopt binding policies that prevent deforestation, human rights abuses and climate pollution from being woven into the fabrics Americans wear everyday.”

Very few people know that major fashion brands are grinding up forests to make the clothes American’s wear everyday. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. Dissolving pulp, a primary ingredient in rayon and other common fabrics, is a growing threat to forests around the world. RAN is engaging with the fashion industry to convince companies to adopt binding policies to ensure that deforestation, human rights abuses and climate pollution are eliminated from their fabric supply chains.

Currently, activists around the country are flooding malls, boutique clothing shops and major shopping outlets, placing stickers on the tags of clothing made with dissolving pulp that say “Warning: This Item May Contain Forest Destruction.”

The Fashion Fifteen companies targeted by the Out of Fashion campaign include 1) ‘Closet Classics’ brands: Guess, Abercrombie, Forever 21, Velvet and Limited Brands (Victoria Secret, Limited and Express); 2) Athletic brands: Under Armour, Foot Locker, Gaiam, Beyond Yoga and 3) Luxury brands: Prada Group, Vince, Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and LVMH.

 

Fibers made from dissolving pulp go by many names, including: rayon, viscose, Tencel ©, Lyocell © and modal.

RAN points to leading Fashion brand including H&M and XXX leading fashion brands that have already taken action - by eliminating dissolving pulp connected to deforestation and human rights violations from their clothes - are proof that our demands are achievable and these companies provide their fashion industry peers with an example to model from

Dissolving pulp comes from critical forest ecosystems around the world, including Canada, Indonesia, South Africa, and the USA. In Indonesia, dissolving pulp plantations have logged irreplaceable tropical rainforests, displaced traditional communities and destroyed priceless biodiversity. Communities in Northern Sumatra have been fighting a dissolving pulp mill for over 20 years, taking action to protect the forests, rivers, and farms at the basis of their way of life. 

For more information on dissolving pulp and RAN’s Out of Fashion campaign, see here.

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Rainforest Action Network runs hard-hitting campaigns to break North America’s fossil fuels addiction, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit: www.ran.org