Tesco helps protect world's trees by signing sustainability pledge

Jonathan Gorman

Sustainable Sourcing Manager

27 May 2016

We’ve signed a new pledge to source viscose through sustainable sources to help protect the world’s forests.

The demand for wood and timber products is on the rise all over the world. This is putting significant pressure on forest resources, driving deforestation and forest degradation in some of the world’s most environmentally sensitive regions like the northern Boreal forests of Canada and Russia and the tropical rainforests of Indonesia, South East Asia and Brazil.

As well as more obvious things like paper and furniture, forests are also the source of some of the material that goes into the clothes we wear. Viscose, also known as rayon, is used across a wide range of clothing - from school uniforms to leggings - and most of that viscose comes from trees.

Our customers tell us they want to be sure the products they buy from us aren’t harming the environment. To make sure the viscose that goes into our F&F clothing is sourced sustainably we’ve just signed up to the CanopyStyle initiative.

CanopyStyle is an industry-wide pledge that has so far been signed by over 65 fashion brands to end the use of endangered and ancient forests in the rayon supply chain.

It’s run by Canopy, an international not-for-profit environmental organisation dedicated to protecting our forests, species and climate. They work with more than 750 companies to make their supply chains more sustainable, and to help protect the world’s forests.

As part of this initiative, we have developed our Fibre Sourcing Policy for Man Made Cellulosic Fabrics. Our global sourcing teams have already begun work with our suppliers to trace the origin of rayon in our supply chains. We are working directly with viscose producers in China to understand where and how they source and encourage their progress.

This is an important step forward but CanopyStyle is just one part of a much wider Tesco commitment to sustainable forests. By 2020 we’ve pledged that all wood-fibre materials used in our own-brand products will come from recycled sources or will be traceable to a forest source that has been independently certified to a credible standard.

At Tesco we know our customers want great, affordable fashion without compromising on social and environmental standards. We’re excited to work with CanopyStyle and other fashion leaders to ensure 100% of our viscose does not come from ancient and endangered forests but instead comes from well-managed, sustainable sources, including alternatives like recycled materials and straw.

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