Today a Greenpeace study in the Guardian newspaper revealed that 80% of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is caused by cattle ranching on illegally destroyed rainforest land. Land destroyed to make way for farms supplying, amongst other animal products, leather to the fashion industry around the globe.
Today Greenpeace is calling for consumers to help stop illegal levels of cattle farming in Brazil, by boycotting leather retailers who use Brazillian leather. They are also asking for retailers, manufacturers and designers to pay closer attention to where their leather comes from too.
So far, Adidas, Nike, Timberland and Clarks have been the first to demand an immediate moritorium on the destruction of the rainforest. They have pledged not to buy leather sourced from farms on legally and illegally deforested land until Brazilian farmers can set up a credible traceability system - so they know from which land their leather is coming. And, they have given them one year to do it.
Adidas told The Guardian, 'We believe that joining together with our industry partners in this effort ensures an ongoing and sustainable method to stop deforestation in the Amazon biome region'.
'If all [consumers] are not buying any products from the Amazon, they will surely create other sorts of problems', says Leonardo Swirski, head of the leather division at Bertin - one of the biggest leather processors in Brazil. Namely a decline in export which would lead to job cuts.
However, with 17% of the world's carbon emissions more than the global transport system - caused by clearing rainforests, this problem can no longer be ignored.
Will it make you stop and think about where your leather comes from now?
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