Shopping online has never been so popular. Convenience, a wider selection of choices, and the opportunity to research the product before buying have led to a surge in popularity in e-commerce purchasing. Due to retailers being able to host a wider range of stock online, searching for a new outdoor jacket or cosy sleeping bag has never been easier, allowing you to rapidly scan through hundreds of brands, designs, and styles until you find the perfect product.
Online shopping is undoubtedly a great help, you can find specialist clothing and outdoor equipment that would not otherwise be available within the store. However, the growing demand for online goods equals a growing demand in resources throughout our supply chains, resulting in an increase in pollution and damage to the environment.
The Threat to our Forests
As a consequence of our increasing online spending habits, the mass production of clothing is impacting the planet at an even greater rate. The production of textiles such as cotton, rayon, modal, lyocell, and viscose, comes at the expense of forest environments by destroying ecosystems from the manufacturing of pulp to create these fabrics. It is estimated that approximately 200 million trees each year are used by the fashion industry to produce these textiles, without including the mass amounts of trees cleared to make way for cattle pastures to meet the pressure for leather across the globe.
As well as supporting and being home to half of the world’s species, forests play a key role in our existence. Forests are known as ‘the lungs of the earth’ due to their ability to absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, as well as filtering our drinking water, preventing flooding, and helping to regulate our climate and cool the Earth. As forests are vital in our survival, it is paramount we must do what we can to protect them, which is why at Blackleaf, we aim to better inform our customers by providing you with more sustainable products to help reduce impacts on the eco systems we rely on for our survival.
Below we have listed a few forest-friendly certifications to look out for when shopping online. Each one ensures that areas of forest used to create products are responsibly managed, human rights promoted, and ecosystem health maintained, with the result being a positive effect on the climate.
Forest Stewardship Council®
Dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management, the FSC® certification guarantees the product you buy has not contributed to the destruction of forests. The global, non-profit organisation is independently operated and uses third-party accredited certifiers to assess operations and decide whether wood companies have met their high institutional standards. By purchasing items with the FSC® ‘tick tree’ logo you can be sure the wood has come from a renewable and responsible source or is made from post-consumer waste which helps take care of the world’s forests.
Yulex® is the only natural plant-based rubber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council®. Yulex® rubber is sustainably sourced from the hevea tree and is the world’s first plant-based replacement for neoprene. Furthermore, Yulex® claim that in producing their material it is a zero waste process and emits 80% fewer carbon dioxide emissions than neoprene, allowing manufacturers to create sustainable products in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.
The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organisation that promotes environmental responsibility by working with farmers, forests, and businesses to contribute to a better future for the planet. Through working with governments, companies, farming and forest communities, and Indigenous leaders, the positive work of the Rainforest Alliance has spread to over 70 countries, preventing deforestation, promoting reforestation, protecting biodiversity, and reducing the effect of climate change.
There are many other certifications for forest preservation, such as PEFC (the program for the endorsement of forest certification), FSC recycled and others all looking to make a major difference.
The Fight Against Climate Change is Crucial
Protecting our forests and therefore our planet is a collaborative effort that we all must take part in. We will continue to source products that consider their impact on forests to allow our customers to easily shop sustainably. This is a simple yet vital step towards protecting the leafy environments we all love to explore.
Our extensive sustainable shopping range contains a wide variety of outdoor gear and accessories to easily source items that match your passions and that are kinder to the planet.
If you would like to know more about sustainability and environmental concerns within the outdoor industry, we have a wide collection of informative and compelling blogs you can check out here!