"In 2007, the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) launched a campaign to persuade Cargill -- the largest exporter of palm oil into the US, and one of a handful of traders that dominate the industry -- to stop buying oil grown on newly cut forests and peatlands. When Cargill refused to budge, RAN changed its strategy and began targeting the company's clients, the so-called "snack food 20," which includes corporations like Hershey's, General Mills, and Kraft.
This new tactic paid off. Some of the high profile brands began demanding that their suppliers get serious about deforestation. And in September, Cargill announced a sweeping no-deforestation policy and endorsed the New York Declaration on Forests, joining other major palm oil traders including the Singapore-based Wilmar and the Indonesian company Golden Agri-Resources. The two leading pulp and paper companies in Indonesia, Asia Pacific Resources International Limited and Asian Pulp and Paper, have followed suit with their own commitments."
"A forest that is the only place where rhinos, tigers, elephants, and orangutans coexist is under threat from planned infrastructure, mining, logging, and plantation projects, warns a new report from the Rainforest Action Network (RAN)."
Alternet: Fabulously Dressed San Francisco Activists Confront Big Fashion Over Its Role in Deforestation
"Earlier Thursday morning, activists staged a protest in downtown San Francisco to call attention to forest destruction for fabric. Activists are visiting Fashion 15 companies throughout the city, demanding that companies get forest destruction out of their fabric."
"Chances are when you pick up a shirt in a department store, the first thought you have isn’t: “Did this shirt contribute to deforestation?” You might be conscious of the material and prefer to buy organic cotton textiles … but, we’re guessing you never knew that some of the items hanging in your closet were made from trees. Or that the process used to turn those trees into textiles is responsible for the loss of 70 million trees every year and spews noxious chemicals like sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. You might start to think differently about your favorite top!"
"Dissolving pulp is not just a threat to the forests of Indonesia. It is a growing industry across the globe, and it’s putting several of the world’s endangered forests in jeopardy."
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 20th, 2014
***Interviews and high-resolution images available
Big Fashion Put on Notice for its Role in Forest Destruction, Rights Abuses; Activists to Place ‘Warning Labels’ on Offending Brands
Rayon and other fabrics commonly used by the ‘Fashion Fifteen’ brands are made from dissolving pulp tied to deforestation, says Rainforest Action Network
San Francisco, CA – Major fashion brands are grinding up forests to make the clothes American’s wear everyday? It sounds crazy, but it’s true. While very few people have even heard of dissolving pulp, it is the primary ingredient in rayon and other common fabrics, and forest advocates say it is a growing threat to forests around the world.
Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has launched the Out of Fashion campaign, which calls on major fashion brands, dubbed the ‘Fashion Fifteen,’ to commit to using only forest friendly fabrics in their products. 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 rooted out and removed from their fabric supply chains.
“Every year, millions of trees are turned into clothing through the use of dissolving pulp. And the process is almost criminally inefficient: only thirty percent of tree matter is actually usable for clothing,” 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.”
Starting today, activists around the country are flooding malls, boutique clothing stores and major shopping outlets, placing stickers on the tags of clothing made with dissolving pulp that say “Warning: This Item May Contain Forest Destruction.”
Fibers made from dissolving pulp go by many names, including: rayon, viscose, Tencel ©, Lyocell and modal.
The Fashion Fifteen group of companies targeted by the Out of Fashion campaign are divided into three categories which include 1) ‘Closet Classics’ brands: Guess, Abercrombie, Forever 21, Velvet and Limited Brands (Victoria Secret, The 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 (which includes Dior, Donna Karen, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton and many others).
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.
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
"You shouldn't have to worry that installing a new hardwood floor in your kitchen will rob Siberian tigers of their home. Since 1900, we've had a law in this country, the Lacey Act, that prohibits trade in wildlife, fish, and plants that have been illegally taken, possessed, transported, or sold. And since 2008, that law has also prohibited the importation of illegally sourced wood products. The problem is real: According to a report from the United Nations and Interpol, between 15 and 30 percent of the wood traded in the world comes from illegal logging."
"Among the few commitments to emerge from a one-day climate summit — held at the United Nations in New York on Tuesday and attended by over 100 heads of state — was a promise to end destruction of the world's forests by 2030 and funnel over $1 billion in aid to countries where forest conservation is most needed.
Conservation groups, however, say the moratorium — the New York Declaration on Forests— fails to act quickly enough to halt deforestation and that past financial commitments, particularly in Indonesia, were poorly planned and implemented."
We launched a campaign to turn up the heat on Pepsico and its use of Conflict Palm Oil. The goal has been to takeover its darkly ironic #LiveForNow advertising campaign that encourages consumption while ignoring human rights abuses, land grabs, and deforestation. Supporters like you have been doing just that by tweeting pictures from events and anywhere they spot the logo of Pepsico’s flagship brand Pepsi, calling out the truth.
Our “#LiveForNow Shouldn’t Mean Destroying Tomorrow” site is built for people like you to use to crank up the pressure on PepsiCo. Pictures coming in from people across the US and the globe will make it clear to PepsiCo that our movement is building and we won’t stop until it ends its use of Conflict Palm Oil.
Remember, take a selfie with a Pepsi sign and tweet it out with the hashtag #LiveForNow and we’ll feature you on the site too!
We know your pressure is working. PepsiCo is one of the 5 laggards companies we called out in April who have refused to take effective steps to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil, but other companies are moving. This week, palm oil laggard Conagra Foods announced a new commitment to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil. Together we can push PepsiCo to do the right thing and fix the weaknesses in its Palm Oil Commitment. So keep up the pressure! Start now by sharing our spoof site with your friends and family on Twitter and Facebook.
Indonesian pulp and paper giant Toba Pulp Lestari has been operating recklessly in North Sumatra for years. The company's mill has been poisoning communities and disrupting life and livelihoods for the local people who call this area home. The mill, and it’s operators, are responsible for horrific land conflicts between the company and villagers who hold traditional land rights to the company’s concessions.
These communities, whose land is protected by customary rights under Indonesian law, rely on these forests for their life and livelihoods. As reported by RAN’s on-the-ground partner, Kelompok Studi dan Pengembangan Prakarsa Masyarakat, well over 17,000 hectares of natural forest have been destroyed, impacting or displacing over 13,000 Indigenous people.
These communities are fighting back, and at least 59 activists have been arrested for resisting Toba Pulp Lestari’s continued expansion and destruction. In the past few years, land conflict has only escalated between villagers and Toba Pulp Lestari employees over the forest area. Meetings with government representatives and Toba Pulp Lestari management have brought no results, and local villagers have resorted to protests and blockades of company operations in order to protect the forests.
The behavior of Toba Pulp Lestari employees shows clear disregard for the livelihoods of local people. In February 2013, local farmers from Pandumaan and Sipituhuta Villages caught Toba Pulp Lestari employees entering their forest areas and cutting down frankincense trees. Instead of apprehending those causing the destruction, resulting clashes between farmers and the employees led to the arrests of 31 farmers.
The harvest of frankincense is essential to the local economy. These communities, who have farmed this land for generations, extract the frankincense without destroying the trees in order to maintain the health of the forest and keep this vital source of income intact for future generations. When the forests are wiped out for pulp plantations, Toba Pulp Lestari destroys not only the livelihoods of the community, their childrens’ livelihoods, and the ecosystem, but it destroys their culture as well.
Local communities have opposed the mill since it began operations in North Sumatra in 1989 due to the rainforest destruction, land grabbing and toxics pollution central to the company’s business model. In 1990, 10 elderly women from Sugapa Village were arrested for pulling up and destroying eucalyptus plantings on their traditional land. Protests by the local community escalated in 1998 and temporarily shut down the mill. But in recent years, the company has changed its name from PT Inti Indorayon Utama to PT Toba Pulp Lestari and reopened the mill; it is now in the process of expanding its destructive operations further into pristine rainforest. Along with name changes, the company has changed affiliations multiple times in order to hide its destruction. The company was formerly affiliated with pulp and paper giant, Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) and its parent Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), and is still controlled by notorious Indonesian business tycoon Sukanto Tanoto through holding companies.
This may seem like a conflict far away from those of us in the Americas, Europe, or Australia, but it’s closer than one would think. A wide variety of consumer products contain pulp from rainforests like those in North Sumatra, including paper, food, cosmetics, household goods—even clothing. This pulp, and the conflict that produced it, is sold on store shelves in your neighborhood - unmarked and unidentifiable.
Unless Toba Pulp Lestari respects the rights of the Indigenous people, including the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), conflicts will only continue. And while Indonesia’s Constitutional Court has acknowledged the customary forest rights of the communities, Toba Pulp Lestari’s concessions and operations continue to undermine the ability of local people to access and manage their own forests.
We plan to keep you up to date on this conflict and bring more information continue to explore and expose the pulp supply chains threatening global rainforests.... stay tuned.