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Gap Inc. partners with Canopy to protect ancient, endangered forests

Values, DesignMelissa Fifield, Sr. Director, Sustainable Innovation1 Comment
Canopy thread

Sustainability is an important piece of our identity at Gap Inc., which is why today, we are reinforcing our commitment with a new company-wide policy to eliminate the sourcing of wood-derived fabrics from ancient and endangered forests by 2020.

This new policy is part of our company’s broader efforts to address the raw material impacts of our supply chain, such as cotton, water and recycled fabrics. With our new policy, we are joining an important industry-wide effort to tackle this issue and help protect ancient and endangered forests. By taking these steps to protect these critical forests, we’re also furthering our climate change efforts, as trees are vital natural resources that help to combat climate change by removing carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere.

Here’s what you need to know about the policy and what it will mean for our business:

What are wood-based fabrics and why are they of concern to the environment?

Wood-derived fabrics are made of dissolving pulp from trees, treating them with a chemical process and spinning them into a fabric. There are various sustainability impacts related to man-made cellulosic fabrics at the stage of raw material (wood pulp) sourcing.

These include a decline in species populations, loss of habitat and deforestation. Some areas that are heavily impacted include the Canadian and Russian Boreal Forests, coastal temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest and Chile, tropical forests and peatlands of Indonesia, the Amazon, and West Africa.

What is Gap Inc. doing to help protect ancient and endangered forests?

Gap Inc. is instituting a new policy to ensure our suppliers do not use ancient and endangered high-carbon value forest areas to make cellulose-based textiles, which include (but are not limited to) rayon, viscose, lyocell, and modal.

By 2020, we will eliminate the use of any wood-derived fabrics made of dissolving pulp from ancient and endangered forest areas. The policy was developed in partnership with the non-profit organization, Canopy, as part of their sustainable fashion and forestry initiative known as CanopyStyle.

To help us achieve our policy, Global Sustainability and Global Supply Chain will partner with our mills to identify all man-made cellulosic raw material suppliers within our supply chain, strongly encourage compliance of CanopyStyle’s audit and remediation plan, and develop trials using innovative fabrics.

Read our full policy here to learn more.

Forest Endangered

What is Canopy and why are we partnering with them?

Canopy is an advocacy group that works to protect ancient and endangered forests through partnering with more than 750 large printers, publishers, and brands like ours – to influence change from policy development, through implementation and driving supply chain innovation. We are partnering with them to roll out the new policy.

Looking forward.

We’re proud to again take a stance and stand up for the people and communities where we source fabrics and do business. It is such an important part of who we are, as a company that cares about a planet that provides so much for us.