Too many trees dy­ing for fash­ion

San Antonio Express-News - - BUSINESS -

No one dies for fash­ion in greater num­bers than, it turns out, the trees. More than 150 mil­lion are cleared ev­ery year, shipped around the world, then pulped and pro­cessed into vis­cose—aka rayon, the cheap, silk-ish fab­ric most mass-mar­ket brands can’t sur­vive with­out.

For the grow­ing num­ber of ap­parel com­pa­nies promis­ing a more eco­log­i­cally sound man­u­fac­tur­ing process, this presents a prob­lem.

The vis­cose in­dus­try re­lies on wood from around the world, in­clud­ing some ar­eas that have been des­ig­nated as eco­log­i­cally sen­si­tive. But by the time the pulp be­comes rayon (typ­i­cally in China), it’s nearly im­pos­si­ble to know whether it orig­i­nated in Amer­i­can tree farms or In­done­sian old growth forests.

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