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Call to action for brands to source leather from deforestation-free supply chains

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Credits: Image: Leather belts via Pexels

Textile Exchange and Leather Working Group, both global non-profit organisations, have jointly launched the Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather, aiming to foster equitable, transparent, and deforestation-free leather supply chains. Cattle rearing, a primary driver of deforestation and ecosystem conversion, presents an opportunity for the leather industry to enact positive change.

Presently, the industry exhibits varying levels of commitment to addressing deforestation and conversion issues. Brands and retailers utilizing leather must promptly transform their complex and often opaque supply chains, which hinder the identification of raw material sources.

The Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather is an initiative spanning multiple sectors, encouraging brands to take action against deforestation and conversion related to leather sourcing. The objective is to safeguard wildlife habitats, preserve biodiversity and carbon stocks, and protect human rights.

The initiative sets clear expectations for brands while offering them tools and guidance. This guidance was developed in consultation with organisations such as WWF, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), and the Accountability Framework Initiative (AFi).

Brands can now join the Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather, with early signatories including notable names such as adidas, American Eagle Outfitters, All Saints, Capri Holdings, H&M Group, Kering, Mango, Marks & Spencer, PUMA, Range Revolution, Reformation, Roots, R.M.Williams and Tapestry.

Collaborating with supply chains

Signatory brands joining the Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather are expected to collaborate with farms and supply chains to establish deforestation and conversion-free sourcing requirements. They must also set and achieve supply chain targets, invest in traceable and sustainable leather, implement traceability systems, uphold human rights, and report progress annually. The objectives of the initiative are to leverage consumer-facing brands to drive change, promote equitable responsibility for forest protection, increase the availability of verified sustainable cattle farms, improve visibility in complex supply chains, and enhance transparency through collective reporting of progress.

Supply Chain
Sustainable Fashion