#TeamRainforest: Challenging Abercrombie & Fitch on its Home Turf

By Ethan Nuss

What happens when #TeamRainforest comes to your party? No one can miss us!

Last week, 50 RAN activists came to Abercrombie & Fitch’s biggest event of the year—its annual party and 5K charity run at its corporate headquarters near Columbus, Ohio. Running as #TeamRainforest, we asked Abercrombie & Fitch’s employees and their families to be a part of the movement to ensure that rainforest destruction and human rights abuses are never part of its clothing.
Group shot of #TeamRainforest at starting line.

But that wasn’t all! In addition to running the race (we got third place in the women’s division!) and sharing #TeamRainforest flyers and stickers with the crowd, we made sure our message was seen and heard with an airplane circling overhead trailing a massive banner that asked: “Is A&F with #TeamRainforest?” We even took over the public event hashtag on Facebook with this image of rainforest destruction.
#TeamRainforest Airplanebanner
Some employees wanted to know: “What does Abercrombie & Fitch have to do with rainforest destruction?” #TeamRainforest student activists with Ohio State University and Kenyon College drew attention to the fact that Abercrombie & Fitch stocks almost 300 items that are made from fabric that is made from trees. It may seem strange, but it’s true—popular fabrics like rayon, viscose, or modal are driving rainforest destruction in places like Indonesia. Each year, over 70 million trees are ground up to make these fabrics.

Abercrombie & Fitch’s executive leadership can no longer ignore the risk of rainforest destruction and human rights abuses in its supply chain. The company’s leadership got the message loud and clear: join #TeamRainforest and become leaders for forests and fashion or we will continue to ramp up the pressure until they do.

Last week’s action not only sent our critical message to company executives but also allowed us to win important allies on the inside of the company by educating thousands of its employees and their families about the hidden scandal in their company’s supply chain. They know that Abercrombie & Fitch has the opportunity to join other industry leaders like H&M, Zara, Levis & Co, and other brands which are appealing to sustainably-minded Millennials, or risk lagging behind its competitors.

Help keep the pressure on by joining over 40,000 people who have directly contacted Abercrombie & Fitch this year to demand its executive leadership join #TeamRainforest and become leaders for rainforest-free fabrics. Our movement grows bigger and stronger every day.

Check out more action photos in our #TeamRainforest photo album.