Fashion Week Party Connects Climate Change to Luxury Shopping Bags

Primary tabs

Rainforest Action Network hosts the GreenShows Opening Night Party; Highlights Plight of Indonesian Rainforests, Connection to Fashion
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New York – Taking a break from Fashion Week’s normal shows and parties, some of New York’s finest fashionistas will pause on Tuesday, September 15 to bring awareness to the plight of one of the world’s most urgently endangered rainforests. Hosted by Rainforest Action Network (RAN), the new GreenShows EcoFashion Week opening night party will highlight fashion’s ability to help stop climate change by halting forest destruction.

The event features Tiffany & Co., the first brand to take action to protect Indonesia’s rainforest and the climate by switching their iconic blue shopping bags (and all the other paper it uses) to environmentally preferable paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

“Tiffany & Co. has a long history of concern for the natural world,” said Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and chief executive officer of Tiffany & Co. “From our shopping bags to our gemstones to our gold and silver, we’re trying to tread more gently upon the Earth so that our customers can be assured we share their desire to protect the world our children will inherit.”

RAN is urging the fashion world to more closely examine their paper supply chains and to sever any connection with paper suppliers who are actively destroying Indonesia’s rainforests. Rapid deforestation and the global warming emissions it causes has catapulted Indonesia into the world’s third largest greenhouse gas producer after the U.S. and China. RAN discovered that almost 100 top name fashion labels and luxury product companies were unknowing drivers of this rainforest destruction, selling their luxury wares in custom paper packaging – shopping bags – made by the worst destroyers of Indonesia’s endangered rainforests. Seeking to raise awareness of the problem and produce change in the marketplace, RAN sent out over 100 letters to some of fashion’s most recognizable brands, asking them to cancel contracts with companies like New Hampshire based PAK 2000, an affiliate of Indonesia’s leading forest destroyer, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP).

“The world looks to New York Fashion Week to set trends,” said Michael Brune, RAN’s executive director. “After this party, top designers around the world will see that the trend for Spring 2010 is to get rainforest destruction out of their boutiques.”

More than 250 people are scheduled to attend the event, which will feature model and activist Summer Rayne Oakes, eco-friendly cocktails courtesy of Veev and organic nibbles by Kitchen Club.

Worldwide, the degradation and destruction of tropical rainforests is responsible for twenty percent of all annual greenhouse emissions. The carbon emissions resulting from Indonesia’s rapid deforestation account for around eight percent of global emissions: more than the combined emissions from all the cars, planes, trucks, buses and trains in United States. This huge carbon footprint from forest destruction has made non-industrialized Indonesia the third-largest global greenhouse gas emitter, behind only the U.S. and China.



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: