Press Releases

April 23, 2015

Ralph Lauren Targeted by New ‘Out of Fashion’ Campaign

Tens of Thousands Call on Ralph Lauren to Eliminate Rainforest Destruction From Fashion Line

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Emma Rae Lierley, 425.281.1989, Emma@ran.org

RALPH_LAUREN_sq_bl.jpgSan Francisco, CA - Ralph Lauren has been named as the prime target of a new campaign  pressuring leading clothing brands to stop using forest-sourced fabrics.

Rainforest Action Network’s Out of Fashion campaign is raising awareness about the connection between leading fashion brands and the deforestation and human and labor rights violations that are a common by-product of forest fabric production. Most people are unaware that some of the most popular fabrics worn today are made from trees. Rayon, viscose and modal are all produced from tree pulp, which originated as trees in Indonesia, Canada, Brazil and South Africa.

Over 20,000 supporters have already taken action and called on Ralph Lauren to cut rainforest destruction from its brand. Linked to deforestation, habitat loss and human and labor rights issues, these popular fabrics are used in hundreds of Ralph Lauren clothing items, while the company has yet to create or implement sustainable sourcing policies for its forest sourced fabrics.

Brihannala Morgan, Senior Campaigner at Rainforest Action Network (RAN), said, “Ralph Lauren is being singled out because as a luxury fashion brand of its scale, they are a leader in the industry, and the company needs to step up. Ralph Lauren uses a huge volume of forest fabrics in its clothing lines, and without a strong policy in place, it can not guarantee that its fabrics are not driving deforestation and negatively affecting the livelihoods of communities on the ground.

“There are some brands that are taking action on this issue, like H&M and Stella McCartney, but Ralph Lauren isn’t one of them. As one of the biggest fashion brands in the world, Ralph Lauren has the ability and resources to ensure that human rights abuses and forest destruction won’t be a part of their next collection.” Morgan said.

Recent global expansion in the production of pulp for fabrics has been devastating to indigenous and forest-dependent communities. Illegal land-grabbing is rampant, and just in the area owned by one company, Toba Pulp Lestari, in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, over 20 distinct cases have been documented where traditional, community-owned land has been forcibly seized without the consent of the community and clear-cut for fabric pulp production.

These communities have been protesting against the loss of their land, livelihoods and resources, and have maintained a now decades-old campaign against Toba Pulp Lestari, which is owned by Indonesian tycoon Sukanto Tanoto. Tanoto also owns one of the most controversial families of companies in Indonesia — Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) group. Among many others, RGE owns the pulp-processing company Sateri and APRIL, perhaps Indonesia’s most notorious forest destroyer.

RAN’s Out of Fashion campaign is highlighting Ralph Lauren as one of the most prominent brands among the “Fashion 15” group of companies — including Prada, LVMH, Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Vince, Guess, Velvet, L Brands, Forever 21, Under Armour, Footlocker, Abercrombie and Fitch, GAIAM and Beyond Yoga.— RAN is calling on these fashion companies to take responsibility for their supply chains, identify and eliminate bad actors, and develop strong, time bound commitments to protect forests and human rights.

For more information on RAN’s campaign on Ralph Lauren, click here.

For more information on the human cost of forest fabrics, click here

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