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CanopyStyle adds new brands to take it to over 400

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

16 Sep 2021

Business

Image: Pexels by Felix Mittermeier

International environmental organisation Canopy has added more than 400 brands and retailers to its fashion and forest conservation initiative, CanopyStyle that aims to transform the fashion industry’s viscose supply chain.

More than 3.2 billion trees are cut down every year, explains Canopy, many from the world’s most vital ecosystems, to make fashion fabrics like viscose and rayon and to feed the growing demand for paper-based packaging. Its CanopyStyle initiative aims to end sourcing paper, packaging, and viscose textiles from the world’s ancient and endangered forests and to scale up the use of next generation alternatives.

In the past few months, the initiative has added global heavyweights LVMH and its 75 luxury Maisons, sportswear brand Puma, Chinese logistics titan Li and Fung, Indian megabrand FlipKart, and Indian fashion leader House of Anita Dongre. Just days ago, a cluster of brands including Hugo Boss, Etam, and Scotch and Soda became the newest CanopyStyle partners. With almost 200 of these new brand partners joining CanopyStyle in the past 18-months, indicating a growing urgency to find climate solutions.

Nicole Rycroft, Canopy’s executive director, said in a statement: “Turning around the current climate reality and biodiversity decline is an enormous challenge — and protecting the world’s forests is the fastest, most effective, and cost-efficient strategy to do it.

“We are so encouraged and inspired to work with these leading brands and innovators who are doubling down to build supply chains for the 21st century and ensure that the world’s forests remain vibrant.”

Hugo Boss and Etam join LVMH, Puma and Inditex as CanopyStyle partners

CanopyStyle is already making a real-world impact, adds the environmental group. To date, producers responsible for 90 percent of global viscose supply have developed commitments to stop sourcing from the world’s ancient and endangered forests. While 52 percent of global production is now documented to Canopy’s “green shirt” criteria, meaning those viscose manufacturers have taken action to be classed as low risk for sourcing from ancient and endangered forests.

As a result of CanopyStyle, several major global producers are now manufacturing man made cellulosic fibre (MMCF) with low-impact alternative fibre such as recycled textiles, which marks the most significant production shift in this supply chain over the past 50 years.

Rycroft added: “CanopyStyle is transforming the viscose supply chain in real-time with our 400 brand partners leading the charge. This is exactly the pace and scale of change that we need to see across all supply chains.

“We’re confident that with the ‘CanopyStyle 400’ we can make the next decade one of solutions and preservation of the world’s forests. There is urgent work to be done.”

A key priority of Canopy’s work with brands is to accelerate commercial-scale production of next generation solutions, such as making viscose/Lyocell textiles from used cotton fabric or microbial cellulose and making paper for packaging from agricultural residues like leftover wheat straw.

On signing up to the environmental initiative, Hugo Boss senior vice president of global corporate responsibility and public affairs Andreas Streubig, said: “At Hugo Boss, we are committed to sustainability, and understand that forests have a vital role to play in stabilising our climate and keeping our planet livable. Canopy has made exciting progress on addressing key sourcing risks in the viscose and packaging supply chains.”

All companies signing on to CanopyStyle and Pack4Good commit to ensure their viscose and packaging supply chains will be: Free of ancient and endangered forests including all recent deforestation; Will maximise recycled and alternative next generation fibres; and will preference FSC-certified wood if virgin wood fibre continues to be used.