L Brands, parent company of Victoria’s Secret, has developed a new policy on the use of popular, but controversial wood-based fabrics, like rayon, viscose and modal. L Brands has committed to tracing the source of wood-based fabrics that are used in their apparel lines and to eliminate sources connected to the destruction of rainforests and the violation of human rights.
L Brands joins a growing list of fashion companies looking to address deforestation and human rights abuses in their supply chains and follows Ralph Lauren as one of the few major U.S.-based companies to address the issue.
L Brands’ policy and actions on wood-based fabrics were developed in cooperation with Rainforest Action Network, whose “Out of Fashion” campaign has raised the issue of the risks that controversial wood-based fabrics pose to endangered forests and human rights in countries such as Indonesia and elsewhere.
“It’s encouraging to see brands beginning to take responsibility for their supply chains,” said Brihannala Morgan, senior forest campaigner with Rainforest Action Network, who worked with L Brands on the creation of its policy. “L Brands’ commitments and actions, following right behind Ralph Lauren and among more than 60 other brands who have developed policies, can have a real positive impact for forests and the people who depend on them.”
Brands such as Ralph Lauren, Zara, Stella McCartney, H&M, Asos and Levi Strauss & Co. have already adopted forest products purchasing policies and have moved to source more responsibly in order to slow the rate in which the world’s remaining endangered and ancient forests are being pulped for fabrics such as rayon, modal and viscose.
L Brands posted its policy on its web site and said it will give preference to suppliers who work toward conservation of endangered forests and the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems within these forests.
Rainforest Action Network’s “Out of Fashion” campaign encourages its members and consumers to write to brands such as L Brands and other fashion companies to call attention to the environmental and social impacts of forest-based fabrics and ask the companies to take immediate action. RAN’s Out of Fashion campaign is calling on brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Michael Kors, Guess, Forever 21, Under Armour and Footlocker to develop better purchasing policies, research their supply chains and identify and eliminate controversial sources.