Amid global outcry concerning the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, fast-fashion retailer H&M is taking a stand
As you read this, devastating fires are still continuing to spread across the Amazon rainforest.
The planet’s largest tropical rainforest is currently being ravaged by wildfires which are putting three million species of plants and animals at risk and endangering the lives of one million indigenous people. The Amazon is known as the “lungs of the planet” because the area produces 20% of the Earth’s oxygen. It also remains a key weapon in the fight against climate change – but the fires are putting all of this at risk.
Thankfully, a number of celebrities, brands and charities are finally stepping up. A few weeks back, Leonardo DiCaprio helped raise $5 million to help extinguish fires blazing in Brazil's Amazon rainforest. Now, H&M has responded to the fires engulfing the Amazon rainforest right now by announcing it will no longer use leather from the region, albeit temporarily.
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** This is what parts of the Amazon look like right now ** . ⚠️ We're at a crisis point. . ⚠️ And need action on a higher level. . Please keep sharing your outrage, donating to our emergency appeal and adding your voice to our petition to world leaders to #ActForTheAmazon. (Link in bio!) . #AmazonFires #AmazonRainforest #FightForYourWorld
“Due to the severe fires in the Brazilian part of the Amazon rainforest and the connections to cattle production, we have decided to place a temporary ban on leather from Brazil. The ban will be active until there are credible assurance systems in place to verify that the leather does not contribute to environmental harm in the Amazon,” says the statement.
The recent ban, which will extend to all of H&M’s brands, including & Other Stories and Cos, will remain “until there are credible assurance systems in place to verify that the leather does not contribute to environmental harm in the Amazon,” the company told the New York Times.
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VF Corporation, which includes brands like Timberland, The North Face and Vans, also announced last week it was putting Brazilian leather purchases on hold until it could be satisfied its suppliers were not connected to any environmental harm.
As the world’s second-largest fashion retailer, H&M has a far-reaching global impact. And, despite the majority of the companies leathers coming from Europe, even the smallest decision from the fashion conglomerate is a positive step in the right direction.
Main image by @earthalliance on Instagram