The Amazon rainforest, known as “The Lungs” of planet Earth, absorbs 2 billion tons of CO2 every year, about 5% of annual emissions, making it a key environmental neutralizer, doing much to prevent the growing harmful effects of climate change. However, as deforestation has continued to destroy the Amazon basin over the past century, the recent apocalyptic fires that have ravaged the rainforest, turning much of the jungle rich in wildlife and biodiversity to ashes, have captured the world’s attention.
But how can this environmental disaster be linked with the fashion industry?A series of polluting industries are clearly linked to climate change, increasing the risk of fires due to the materials they use or their lack of interest in the levels of their CO2 emissions, among these the fashion industry certainly plays a fundamental role. A United Nations study concluded that the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions and 20% of all water waste, making it the second most polluting industry in the world and has never invested so much in synthetic materials as it has done in the last decade.
There are two main reasons that link fashion to rainforest degradation:
- the first is where products, such as leather in particular, are made as a result of deforestation, of which Brazil and the Amazon are particularly affected.
- the second refers to products obtained directly from forests: artificial cellulose fabrics such as viscose, rayon and modal, as well as packaging.