Stella McCartney, H&M, Inditex and Others Invest in Alternative Fibres to Protect Vital Ecosystems
At COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, leading companies including H&M, Inditex, Stella McCartney, and Ben & Jerry’s announced on 14 November a collective commitment to purchase over half a million tons of low-carbon, low-footprint alternative fibres for fashion textiles and paper packaging. The move will help protect some of the world’s vital forests and ecosystems and reduce forest degradation pressures from the fashion and packaging supply chains.
Instigated by environmental non-profit Canopy, the transition towards environment-positive alternatives ‑ known as Next Generation Solutions — affirms a growing urgency for greener business models. Demand for such materials can stir investment to scale ground-breaking alternatives on ecological meaningful timelines.
Despite taking center stage at last year’s UN Climate Change Conference, only one third of the world’s most influential companies have yet to make forest conservation commitments.
The scientific community has warned that at least 50% of the world’s forests need to be conserved or restored by 2030 to ensure global temperature rises stay below 1.5 °C. Annually, over 3.2 billion trees are logged to produce fiber for packaging and clothing, emitting vast amounts of C02 into the atmosphere.
Agricultural residues and recycled textiles can be scaled to reduce forest degradation. Next Generation Solutions could help avoid almost 1 GT of CO2 emissions between now and 2030.
"We are thrilled to advance this commitment with forward-looking partners who are willing to challenge the status quo and in doing so provide a breakthrough for these game-changing technologies," said Canopy Founder and Executive Director, Nicole Rycroft. "This commitment will allow us to take a historic leap closer to the $64 billion of investments in sustainable alternatives needed to ensure forest conservation for our planet's climate and biodiversity stability."