Nike, H&M and LVMH are all amongst a number of brands which are at risk of contributing to the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.
New research into the global fashion industry’s supply chains has shown that the brands may already be contributing to the destruction of the rainforest due to their connections with tanneries and other companies that are involved in the manufacture of leather goods.
The report, which was released on Monday by Stand.earth, analysed nearly half a million rows of customs data and discovered that brands including Coach, LVMH, Prada, H&M, Zara, Adidas, Nike, New Balance, Teva, UGG and Fendi have multiple connections to an industry that is involved with the deforestation of the Amazon.
Over 50 brands have multiple links to the largest Brazilian leather exporter, JPS, which is known to engage in the practise of destroying the rainforest for commercial gain.
JPS recently committed to stopping deforestation across all of its supply chains by 2035, a commitment which has been branded as in sufficient by environmental groups.
The findings come at a time when a number of the brands involved in the survey have recently pledged to distance themselves from brands practising deforestation.
“With a third of companies surveyed having some kind of policy in place, [you’d expect] that would have an impact on deforestation,” one of the report’s authors Greg Higgs said.
“The rate of deforestation is increasing, so the policies have no material effect.”
Luxury fashion house, LVMH, which is still reeling from the shock death of artistic director Virgil Abloh, was found to have a high risk of connections to companies that contribute to deforestation, despite the fact it had promised to protect the vulnerable region with Unesco.
Brazilian Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance (APIB) executive coordinator Sônia Guajajara said that brands have “the moral responsibility, the influence and the economic resources” to stop working with suppliers contributing to deforestation in the Amazon today, “not in 10 years, not in 2025”.