VANCOUVER, Canada — October 6, 2021 – Today, Walmart US, Walmart Canada, Sam’s Club US, and international environmental not-for-profit Canopy are making a truly unbe-leaf-able announcement. To help protect forests all around the world, the three industry heavyweights have joined Canopy’s CanopyStyle initiative and announced a 2025 goal to ensure none of the man-made cellulosic fabrics for their Private Brand apparel and soft home textile products come at the expense of the world’s Ancient and Endangered Forests.
Most people don’t know that every year, more than 200 million trees are cut down to make fashion fabrics like viscose and rayon. Many of these trees come from the world’s most vital forest ecosystems — forests essential for sequestering carbon, preserving biodiversity, and protecting us against possible pandemics. By joining the CanopyStyle initiative, Walmart US, Walmart Canada, and Sam’s Club US are requiring their suppliers to end sourcing from Ancient and Endangered Forests for all of their Private Brand apparel and soft home textile products, and encouraging suppliers to spur the use of lower impact alternative fiber sources, such as fabrics made from recycled textiles or agricultural residues instead of climate-critical endangered forests.
“Walmart is thrilled to be adding CanopyStyle to our Private Brand textiles sustainability work,” said Denise Incandela, executive vice president, Apparel and Private Brands, Walmart US. “We are focused on making product supply chains more regenerative, working in harmony with nature to protect, restore and sustainably use our natural resources. We know our work with Canopy is a step in the right direction as we aim to effectively leverage our sourcing as a force to protect forests, and we look forward to bringing more sustainably sourced textiles to our customers.”
“Walmart joining CanopyStyle is a game-changer. Their global reach and influence on supply chains is second to none,” said Nicole Rycroft, Canopy’s executive director. “Their commitment will turbocharge the transformation of the viscose supply chain to protect forests and draw Next Generation Solutions to the market at scale.”
“Canada is home to some of the most vital forests on the planet, which we are committed to protecting and restoring. Everyday decisions like choosing clothing and textiles made from more-sustainably-sourced fibers are an important step in the journey to a more sustainable future,” said Kieran Shanahan, chief merchandising officer, Walmart Canada. “As part of our commitment to becoming a regenerative company, we’re proud to join Canopy on this initiative to protect the forests that stretch across our country and bring more sustainable choices to our customers.”
“At Sam’s Club we’re looking forward to working with Canopy and our colleagues at Walmart US and Walmart Canada to put our collective scale behind this work and help drive greater impact,” said Stephanie Reibling, senior vice president of Home, Apparel, Tires & Seasonal at Sam’s Club US. “We are confident that with Canopy’s viscose supply chain expertise and our purchasing influence, we will be able to delight our Members with access to more forest-friendly clothing and home textiles.”
Walmart US, Walmart Canada, and Sam’s Club US have a joint CanopyStyle goal, which will require suppliers to ensure that by 2025, none of the man-made cellulosic fibers used in Private Brand apparel and soft home textile products — including rayon/viscose, modal, lyocell, acetate, and trademarked versions — are sourced from Ancient or Endangered Forests, or from endangered species’ habitats or other controversial sources, as defined by Canopy’s tools and reports.
In addition to the above requirements, all Walmart US, Sam’s Club US, and Walmart Canada Private Brand apparel and soft home suppliers of products that contain man-made cellulosic fibers will be strongly encouraged to:
- Support recycled and alternative Next Generation fibers (such as recycled textiles or agricultural residues) where cost, quality, and availability allow; and
- Show a preference for sourcing FSC-certified materials if virgin wood fiber continues to be used, where available with quantities, performance characteristics and prices that meet our suppliers’ needs.
The CanopyStyle initiative now represents 455 brands, worth $791 billion USD in annual revenue. All are united in transforming unsustainable supply chains, catalyzing circular alternatives at scale, and conserving vital forest ecosystems all over the world.
Posted October 12, 2021