Forests Aren’t a Fad: Fashion leaders step up to address destruction of Indonesian rainforests

Written by Robin Averbeck

Topics: Pulp and Paper

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Environmentalists and fashion industry movers and shakers may seem like strange bedfellows to many, but Tuesday night, during New York’s Fashion Week, a great alliance was formed between those very groups.  RAN’s Executive Director Michael Brune and Tiffany and Co.’s CEO Mike Kowalski stood side by side to  ask a room full of fashion designers, models, and industry influencers to stop wrapping their products in Indonesian rainforest destruction by cancelling contracts with luxury shopping bag maker Pak 2000. To my pleasant surprise, their request was met with approving nods and applause, and many fashion industry folks approached RAN staff eager to discuss the details of Indonesia’s rainforests and how they could help stop the rampant deforestation that is taking place there.

Almost 100 fashion and luxury products companies buy their custom packaging products from Pak 2000, an affiliate of Sinar Mas Group’s Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). The Sinar Mas group is perhaps Indonesia’s bigger forest destroyer, with APP alone responsible for clearing more natural forest in Sumatra than any other company.  However, a handful of companies, including Tiffany’s & Co., H&M, and Billabong, have already stepped up as leaders by cancelling their contracts with Pak 2000.

The GreenShows Opening Night Party

The GreenShows Opening Night Party

With obvious interest from society’s trendsetters, it seems as if the alliance between RAN and the fashion industry has great potential to move fashion forward by getting top companies out of Indonesia’s rainforests.  This party is just the beginning of our campaign to get forests out of fashion. Stay tuned – we’ll keep you in the loop.

20 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Scott says:

    Great work on bringing the fashionistas into the rainforest movement!

  2. sara says:

    keep up the good work, guys!!!

  3. This is such a terribly important issue, that I pray that all who become aware of it, will let their elected officials, in the Congress, of the United States Government, will please support the reduction of these loss of trees, that effects every one on this planet. Sincerely, Fred E Schollars at 8744 Daniel Boone Rd Kansas City, Missouri 64114.

  4. Eric Chipman says:

    It is time to stop exploiting the rainforests. Not only do we deplete those forests of the trees which make for shade and animal habitat, but it also can counter the additional problem of global warming and climate change. PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT!

  5. Bernie and Marcia Altman says:

    Forests are the skin of earth. Just as we would not destroy our skin because it protects us from infection and injury, we must not destroy the forests or the consequences may be as serious for our planet.

  6. Soulas Daniel says:

    STOP !!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Alexandra Beckett says:

    Think now not later. Leave the rainforests as they are.

  8. jerry weinstock says:

    we are in the process of trying to preserve this once
    magnificent planet — now for our survival– actions like these are critical– awareness and action!

  9. Felica Mareel says:

    I am so thankfull that you have the fashion industry on board to protect rainforests. It would be great to educate the public about how they are using products from rainforests. I myself am unclear. If I knew I’d check the product label and make my purchase choices as an informed consumer. A greater number of people than ever before are doing just that these days. I say it would be more powerful for consumers to choose well and make their purchase count for ecology. Many of us are doing our best to steer clear of sythetics however we want to do so in a way that actually makes sense, makes a difference ecologicially. Thi has made me decide that while I dress myself each day I will say a blessing for the wonderous way our planet is dressed . . . never out of fashion with trees that continue to delight us with their shapely grace, ancient strength and knowledge. Has there ever been a more peaceful pleasure than appreciating how trees provide shade while lying under the skirts of of the best dressed presense in the world?

  10. Felica Mareel says:

    I am so thankfull that you have the fashion industry on board to protect rainforests. It would be great to educate the public about how they are using products from rainforests. I myself am unclear. If I knew I’d check the product label and make my purchase choices as an informed consumer. A greater number of people than ever before are doing just that these days. I say it would be more powerful for consumers to choose well and make their purchase count for ecology. Many of us are doing our best to steer clear of sythetics however we want to do so in a way that actually makes sense, makes a difference ecologicially. This has made me decide that while I dress myself each day I will say a blessing for the wonderous way our planet is dressed . . . never out of fashion with trees that continue to delight us with their shapely grace, ancient strength and knowledge. Has there ever been a more peaceful pleasure than appreciating how trees provide shade while lying under the skirts of the best dressed presense in the world?

  11. Dale Mohr says:

    I’m happy that so many fashion industry folks approached the RAN staff eager to discuss the sorry details of Indonesia’s rainforests.

  12. Christian Fossen says:

    The ‘Fashion Fiend’s’ have such pull and influence around the globe. Excellent work getting them involved. Maybe some pro athletes as well?! Keep up the good fight. Or maybe it’s really time to start using ‘force’ to protect the forest’s.
    *EARTHFIRST*

  13. Debbie Zarr says:

    It’s good to see influential people in the fashion industry working to stop destruction of the rain forests. Keep up the good work!

  14. Joe Carson says:

    Please leave me with petitions to sign against Asian paper, etc. I am in India til Nov. 10 and can do little while in remote areas without a computer. Keep me posted. My next chance to write will be 12 days later after Oct. 4th.

  15. We ALL need to do E V E R Y T H IN G possible to save and keep any rainforests left. They are this planets lifeline and everyone of us CANNOT AFFORD to anymore let one single rainforest tree be felled…neither for the forest inhabitants, nor for us. Keep RAINFORESTS FOREVER !

    This is a DIRE APPEAL………..

  16. Barbara Hansen says:

    We all need to work as a world community in saving the rain forests. Keep going, good work.

  17. Please let there be a law that bans the abuse on our Rainforests whether they be in south America or in Papa New Guinnie,so yes,we must step up the pressure and prevent this disaster now.

  18. Please let there be a law that bans the abuse on our Rainforests whether they be in south America or in Papa New Guinnie,

  19. Frank Berend says:

    Hi, very interesting post. Thank alot…

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