I never expected Indonesian rainforest protection to become "fashionable," per se. Yet, with Gucci Group's announcement that it will eliminate all paper made from Indonesian rainforests and plantations and by controversial suppliers like Asia Pulp and Paper, it has become just that.
Today Gucci Group, the prestigious conglomerate of fashion and luxury brands, including such brands as Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, and Balenciaga, announced their move out of Indonesian and other endangered forests as a first step in implementing an industry-leading paper policy. This policy is a continuation of the Gucci Group's interest in curbing climate change, about twenty percent of which stems from forest loss, and through it, the Gucci Group has pledged to reduce the amount of paper it uses, eliminate fiber from high conservation value forests, and only purchase recycled products or those certified by the Forest Stewardship Council by December 2010.
- Photo: Greenpeace Indonesia
Gucci Group's leadership is commendable and sets Indonesian rainforest protection as the new fall trend for other fashion and luxury brands to follow. Gucci Group's policy puts it at the front of a list of major companies—including Tiffany & Co., H&M Group, Hugo Boss, and Ferragamo—that have decided they don't want their brands to be associated with the destruction of rainforests or with encouraging climate change.
Not everyone has caught onto the new fall fashion trend, however. Three companies that could use some encouragement to follow Gucci Group's lead are Calvin Klein, Coach, and Marc Jacobs.
Our research indicates that these companies are implicated in Indonesian rainforest destruction through purchasing throwaway paper shopping bags from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) and its affiliates. APP is the biggest Indonesian rainforest destroyer for paper and is responsible for past and ongoing clearing and converting of vast areas of rainforests and peat lands in Sumatra and Borneo.
- Photo: David Gilbert
I am sure that Calvin Klein, Coach, and Marc Jacobs can do better than doing business with some of Indonesia's worst rainforest destroyers. Gucci Group has demonstrated that the fashion industry can make a difference for rainforests and for the climate. Now it's time for the others to join.
Calvin Klein, Coach and Marc Jacobs should follow Gucci's lead, and stop purchasing throwaway paper shopping bags from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) and others who source from Indonesian and Endangered Forests. By implementing leadership paper policies, Calvin Klein, Coach and Marc Jacobs have the opportunity to protect rainforests and the climate and make Indonesian rainforest protection a fall fashion trend that won’t be forgotten.