Fashion Relies on the Amazon. Here’s How One Brand is Giving Back.

Fashion Relies on the Amazon. Here’s How One Brand is Giving Back.

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Image Credit: DaCosta Verde
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In July this yr, scientists shared a disturbing growth: researchers discovered many areas within the Amazon at the moment are emitting extra carbon into the ambiance — round one billion tonnes per yr — than they take in. According to the Brazilian analysis institute Imazon, an space 13 instances the dimensions of New York City was deforested between August 2020 and July this yr. It’s trigger and impact: deforestation results in a drier local weather, longer droughts and a higher threat of fires. Natural fires are a rare occurrence within the Amazon, which signifies that all of those fires are man-made. 

The Amazon is being cleared for the manufacturing of assorted style commodities, together with leather-based, cotton, man-made cellulosic fibers (like rayon), and to a lesser extent, rubber. Soaring international style manufacturing (except the pandemic lull) means these textiles are more and more useful, making them a giant enterprise alternative for far-right Bolsonaro’s authorities.

The Amazon is near the guts of Brazil-born Mäby Dutra, who based her model DaCosta Verde in July 2020. Since its inception, the model has planted a tree within the Amazon rainforest for each buy, together with fastidiously sourcing supplies that don’t harm the Brazilian rainforest. 


Brazil is the second-largest producer of leather-based behind China, exporting virtually $1 billion in hides and completed leather-based every year. While China is the largest importer of cow skins, Europe is one other main vacation spot — in case your purse is “Italian leather-based” it’s doubtless that whereas the leather-based was tanned in Italy, the cow was farmed in Brazil. Indeed 71% of Italian leather-based comes from Brazilian bovine skins. 

The provide chain for leather-based is notoriously opaque — it may well take up to two years to go from cow to completed leather-based and in that point, it undergoes numerous treatments — making a sector the place transparency is extremely troublesome to attain. It’s virtually not possible to ensure that leather-based exported from Brazil doesn’t come from a ranch primarily based in former rainforest land.

In response to the 2019 Amazon fires, style manufacturers like VF Corp and H&M publicly boycotted Brazilian leather-based to be able to be certain that their sourcing wasn’t contributing to the deforestation of the rainforest. But final yr, nonprofit Canopy and sustainability activator Anthesis surveyed 38 of style’s greatest corporations and located that 76% of corporations had not made any deforestation commitments for the leather-based they procure.

Man-made Cellulosic Fibers

Man-made cellulosic fibers (MMCF), generally often called modal, rayon or viscose, are problematic in a number of ways. Not solely are they produced from dissolving wooden chips utilizing extremely toxic chemicals, however according to Canopy, 200 million timber are logged yearly to make these materials. This chemically intensive course of usually is sourced on land that was as soon as historical, endangered or tropical forests, that are changed with single-species plantations grown particularly for pulping. This causes lack of biodiversity and pure habitats which can be essential for the survival of the rainforest, and have a big impact on global weather patterns.

Luckily there may be an trade vast push to enhance requirements for MMCFs to make sure that endangered forests are usually not being destroyed. The Textile Exchange experiences that round half of all MMCFs are licensed with the Forest Stewardship Council or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification and there are a number of smaller certifications, together with Canopy’s personal CanopyModel Audits, the place the corporate is pushing for next-generation feedstocks to create MMCFs, resembling recycled textiles or agricultural waste. 

DaCosta Verde works intently with materials provider Lenzing to supply sustainable viscose (known as EcoVero) for the model’s vary of colourful and modern on a regular basis separates. EcoVero differs from the MMFC’s talked about above as a result of the wooden pulp comes from responsibly managed forests, and the viscose manufacturing course of makes use of 50% fewer emissions and water than generic options.


The Amazon is the only place in the world the place rubber is commercially harvested from timber that develop within the wild with out hurt to the tree, and whereas it isn’t an enormous export for Brazil anymore, it has a turbulent history courting again to the 10th century. Most of the worldwide rubber provide now comes from industrial plantations in Southeast Asia, or is made synthetically from petroleum, however wild rubber from the Amazon is a top quality, sustainable materials that gives an important revenue supply for marginalized communities residing all through the rainforest. Rubber tappers actively preserve the biodiversity of the rainforest and extract rubber with out harming the timber or the encompassing surroundings. Notably, footwear model Veja works solely with Amazonian communities to supply the rubber for his or her shoe soles. 

we are amazonia campaign by DaCosta Verde

we are amazonia campaign by DaCosta Verde


Brazil is likely one of the world’s largest cotton producers, forecast to provide 13.2 million bales in 2021/22 by the USDA. The state of Mato Grosso, which is break up into three areas: the Amazon, Cerrado/Cerradao and the Pantanal wetland, produces two-thirds of the nation’s cotton. It’s additionally the place unlawful deforestation of the Amazon is rifeBrazil’s National Institute for Space Research detected a 31% increase in 2019/2020 in comparison with the yr earlier than.

To enhance output from the area, President Bolsonaro is planning a 1,050 km railway system known as Ferrogrão that’s set to run by the guts of the Amazon. It’s a mission that’s anticipated to trigger devastating damage to the rainforest, together with a whole lot of environmentally protected areas. Not to say that Brazil is the world’s largest consumer of pesticides, utilizing over 60,000 tonnes of extremely hazardous pesticides in 2018, all of which have been banned within the EU. Business is booming in Mato Grosso, which means extra deforestation and extra dangerous chemical compounds, to provide extra cotton.

we are amazonia campaign by DaCosta Verde

we are amazonia campaign by DaCosta Verde

How DaCosta Verde is Giving Back

With the Amazon underneath menace, DaCosta is stepping up that dedication with a brand new marketing campaign, which launched this month, known as We Are Amazônia. The model is teaming up with Brazilian non-profit S.O.S Amazônia to have a good time Amazon Rainforest Day with the launch of two gender-neutral, sustainably made, and GOTS licensed natural cotton T-shirts, that are ethically produced in Brazil. DaCosta Verde has thought of all the things all the way down to fully compostable packaging and plantable garment tags to be able to restrict the marketing campaign’s environmental footprint.

With each tee bought, S.O.S Amazônia will plant 5 timber to assist promote the conservation of biodiversity inside the rainforest. DaCosta Verde’s purpose is to plant 5,000 timber with this marketing campaign, which can also be supported by international platform Fashinnovation, with advisory help from the UN Office for Partnerships and is aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals.

“The Amazon is a real inspiration for the model and likewise a reference that modified my mind-set because it pertains to our three properties; our minds, our our bodies, and the planet. So, it’s solely proper that we honor this very particular date and lift consciousness for the We Are Amazônia trigger, and take motion to avoid wasting the most important rainforest on the earth.”