Over 100 fashion brands tied to deforestation — Analysis

Brands like LVMH, Prada, H&M, Zara, Adidas, and Nike have connections to tanneries and other companies involved in the production of leather and leather goods that contribute to Amazon deforestation, a report has found.

In a study published on Monday by, a supply-chain research firm, dozens of household brands were accused of contributing to the deforestation of the world’s most important rainforest, the Amazon. 

Researchers note that deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has been largely driven the cattle industry. This, in turn, relies on the demand for leather and beef. “Brazilian leather is used by tanneries and manufacturers around the world to make countless branded consumer-facing products including footwear and high-end fashion products,”The study asserts. 

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In the following: “supply chain visualizer,” illustrates how high-end and mainstream brands collaborate with processors (many of them Chinese), which in turn use products from Brazilian tanneries. 

Researchers analyzed almost 500,000 rows worth of customs data and found that many brands, including Nike, Adidas, Teva, UGG and New Balance had connections with Brazilian cattle.

There were more than 50 brands that had connections to JBS (the largest Brazilian leather exporter), in their supply chain. 

The company is well-known for its involvement in deforestation in Amazon rainforest. However, the firm recently made a commitment to zero deforestation throughout its own supply chain by 2030. 

“With a third of companies surveyed having some kind of policy in place, [you’d expect] that would have an impact on deforestation,”Greg Higgs was one of the research assistants in The Guardian’s report. “The rate of deforestation is increasing, so the policies have no material effect,”He added.  

According to the research group, deforestation due to Amazonian cattle ranching accounts for nearly 2% global CO2 emissions each year. 

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has been widely criticized for not taking action on deforestation in the Amazon. 

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