By: The Working Forest Staff
SAN FRANCISCO – GUESS, Inc. has announced a new policy on the sourcing of popular but controversial wood-based fabrics, including rayon, viscose and modal, in its clothes. The popular apparel brand’s new policy was created in collaboration with Rainforest Action Network (RAN), whose “Out of Fashion” campaign has been bringing attention to the risks that many wood-based fabrics pose to endangered forests, and to local and Indigenous communities in places like Indonesia.
“GUESS has developed a responsible sourcing policy to track rayon and other similar fabrics to ensure that the materials we use do not come from any currently endangered forests,” said GUESS, Inc. CEO Victor Herrero. “At GUESS, we understand the urgency of such environmental issues and that this is simply the right thing to do. Through this policy and other initiatives in the GUESS Sustainability Plan, we continue to take action to create positive impact for our world and our brand.”
GUESS, Inc. has committed to trace the sources of regenerated cellulosic fibers, such as viscose and rayon, used in its own clothing lines. The company will put in place comprehensive procedures to establish the origin of its suppliers’ fibers, which are designed to ensure it does not work with those sourcing from ancient or endangered forests or linked to violation of the rights of indigenous peoples who depend on such forests.
“GUESS’s policy is an important step, and we applaud its efforts to limit the impact that it’s fabric purchases have on the world’s forests and on the people, who depend on them,” said Brihannala Morgan, senior forest campaigner with Rainforest Action Network (RAN), who has worked with other popular brands in the creation of their policies. “GUESS’s policy is another critical step in an industry-wide shift to take responsibility for the on-the-ground impacts of rayon and viscose fabrics. We look forward to working with GUESS, and others, to ensure that this policy is implemented, and that it creates real impacts on the ground.”
GUESS joins a growing list of apparel companies that have adopted policies to ensure their supply chain does not contribute to deforestation or human rights abuses. The company joins the recent efforts made by Abercrombie & Fitch, Ralph Lauren and Victoria’s Secret (L Brands)––some of the major U.S.-based companies to proactively address these issues.
Over the course of its Out of Fashion campaign, RAN encouraged its membership and consumers to write to GUESS and other laggard brands to call attention to the environmental and social impacts of forest-based fabrics and to ask the companies to take immediate action. RAN’s Out of Fashion campaign continues to call on other brands, including Michael Kors, Forever 21, Under Armour and Foot Locker, to develop robust purchasing policies, research their supply chains, identify and eliminate controversial sources and implement time bound plans to ensure that their supply chains are not connected to the loss of forests or any associated violations of human rights.
For more information on pulp production for fabrics and RAN’s Out of Fashion campaign, see here.