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Kontoor Brands Sets Standards for Sustainable Forest Materials and Products

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With wildfires blazing in Brazil, Indonesia and Colorado, forest conservation is increasingly becoming a concern for all industries. The parent company of Wrangler and Lee is taking new measures to minimize its impact on forests.

Kontoor Brands announced Tuesday the launch of its first Forest Derived Materials (FDM) policy, a set of standards for purchasing and using sustainable forest materials and products.

The FDM policy covers the sustainable and responsible use of forest products to avoid issues associated with deforestation and forest degradation, including the loss of ancient and endangered forests, loss of biodiversity and habitat, use of forced labor in making forestry products and loss of indigenous peoples and local community rights.

This includes the use of products derived from raw materials with minimal impact on forests and forest habitats, including an emphasis on certified-sustainable sources, such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified materials, and an emphasis on alternative fiber sources.

“Taking action to help preserve the world’s endangered forests is a must. Doing so aligns Kontoor’s environmental actions with our pledge to consistently do the right thing, including standing for the planet we share,” Scott Baxter, Kontoor Brands’ president and CEO, said in a statement.

As a global producer of millions of products each year, Kontoor Brands stated that it is committed to working with NGOs and relevant stakeholders to ensure a continued evolution of its FDM policy. As part of that commitment, the company is engaged in the CanopyStyle initiative, which works with more than 170 apparel brands to eliminate all ancient and endangered forest fiber from their products.

“Kontoor is helping drive forward the retail industry’s commitment to large scale forest conservation and climate solutions,” Nicole Rycroft, Canopy founder and executive director, said. “Two of the world’s most iconic brands are now part of this global movement to transform their supply chains to ensure the protection of the world’s forest and the people and animals that call them home.”

Baxter added that collaboration is welcome, and invited other brands to get on board to make a greater impact.

“We encourage others to join us, and we look forward to partnering with the many respected organizations and stakeholders who have already begun this essential journey,” he said.

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