Fashion and Saving Forests:Shifting the Supply Chain


Many years ago when I worked in publishing I met a woman named Nicole Rycroft. She had started an organization called Markets Initiative whose aim was to save the world’s vanishing forests. Her approach was to educate sectors and transform their supply change management.

At the time I worked at Raincoast Books in Vancouver, Canada. We had just landed a little book called Harry Potter. What better way to elevate an issue than by changing what kind of paper a book  of that stature and print run would be printed on.  Nicole approached Raincoast and proposed that we print the book on post-consumer recycled paper. The idea was presented to J.K. Rowling, who loved it and Raincoast ran with it. The rest is history. All of the Canadian editions of Harry Potter were printed on Ancient Forest Free paper. Paper had to be sourced and printers had to change how they did things.

Today Markets Initiative is called Canopy and it continues to work sector by sector to change how companies use forest products in their supply chain. Now the focus is on creating paper out of straw, ” “Human beings require oxygen and forests produce it; printed books require paper but paper need not be made from virgin forests.”  says Margaret Atwood whose book of speculative fiction was printed using straw pulp.

Now Nicole and CanopyStyle are taking on the fashion industry.  Little did I know (and I’m sure I’m not the only one) that materials like rayon are made of wood fibre, often from some of the world’s ancient forests. Viscose production consumes 140 million trees each year and is slated to double within the decade. This includes Gap (and their brands) and H&M.

Nicole just did an article in GREENBIZ where you can find out more about how the fashion world’s supply chain is being disrupted by a single woman with a big vision to save the world’s forests. Read the full article here.

Takeaway – One determined person can change the world.



Leave a comment

Filed under Sustainability

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s