Earthsight, a well-known environmental and climate change non-profit organisation, recently discovered that well-known fast fashion brands H&M and Zara Clothing are linked to deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest, specifically in Cerrado Savanna.

NGO Exposes the Environmental Toll of H&M and Zara Clothing and Links Them to Deforestation

According to the reports published by Earthsight on Thursday, both brands, Zara and H&M, get their cotton from companies that are directly linked to deforestation in the Cerrado savanna, and both brands are quite aware of this issue. Not only this, but the report also claims that the brands are somehow linked to land-grabbing, corruption, violence, and even deforestation in Brazil.

The report also attached satellite images of the area where they claimed deforestation occurred. The Earthsight report calls this act a “fashion crime,” and the Brazilian Court is also involved in this issue.

Better Cotton, another non-profit organisation, used to give H&M cotton tags for “ethical cotton,” and after the report, Earthsight says that Better Cotton has so many deep flaws and has not worked very well.

Many people prefer H&M and Zara because of their brand image and value. People believe both brands use ethical ways to create their clothes, try not to harm the environment, and help preserve it as much as possible. Ironically, both brands have dedicated environmental pages on their websites, and H&M even claims that they will halve their emissions by 2030 and reach a net-zero impact by 2040. 

Zara’s parent companies, Inditex and H&M, have released their press releases after the report and claim that they will audit their cotton production again and publish the reports as soon as possible. On the other hand, the issues raised by the NGO are very concerning, and they will release their findings to the public soon as well.

Cerrado savanna is located southeast of the Amazon tropical rainforest, and the ecosystem consists of 200 mammal species, 860 bird species, 180 reptile species, 150 amphibian species, 1,200 fish species, and 90 million insect species.

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