A few months ago, I wrote on Non-Toxic Kids about how some of our favorite shoe companies: Nike, Timberlane, Clarks, Rebok and Adias, were using leather from enormous factory farms in Brazil, causing massive deforestation of the Amazon, and emiting tons of ozone depleting carbon into the atmosphere in the process. Greenpeace mounted an informational email and action campaign about this issue, generating over 30,000 emails to Nike. And they listened.
According to Greenpeace, “Following the release of the Greenpeace report, “Slaughtering the Amazon,” which showed that demand for shoe leather plays an integral role in the deforestation of the Amazon by cattle ranchers in Brazil, Nike contacted Greenpeace and worked with us to establish a new leather sourcing policy. Nike has announced new standards that will keep leather made from Amazon destruction out of its shoes, and will adhere to those standards until there can be guarantees that none of the leather and other cattle products in Brazil are coming from deforested Amazon land.”
This gives me faith that simple green activism on the web makes a difference. Companies don’t want to lose customers, obviously, and the more of us that demand ethical, environmental, and sustainable actions, the more they will listen.
But Nike was not the only one shoe company that was using leather from Amazon deforesting, carbon spewing mega-factory farms. The other shoe companies named in Greenpeace’s investigation, Reebok, Timberline, Clarks, and Adias are still contributing to the deforestation and the warming of the planet.
The problems with the operation only begin with huge environmental destruction. The factory farms investigated by Greenpeace also have been violating the human rights of their workers.
From my last post on Non-Toxic Kids about this issue,
“In ads these companies promote health, exercise, and enjoying nature, while contributing directly to global warming and rampant deforestation, two of the most critical (and interrelated) environmental problems of our time.”
It’s time for these companies to take action, like Nike, to protect the planet. You can help buy sending these companies an email, urging them to act.
[This post was written by Katy Farber]