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H&M halts leather Buys from Brazil Because of Amazon wildfires

H&M, the planet’s second-biggest fashion retailer, said on Thursday it had ceased buying leather from Brazil for the time being because of ecological concerns highlighted by Amazon wildfires.

Sweden-based H&M follows VF Corp, proprietor of apparel and shoe brands such as Timberland, Vans and also North Face, which created a similar statement last week in reaction to the flames.

Countless flames tearing throughout the Amazon have spawned a global catastrophe for Brazil, together with public protests and world leaders expressing concern that the authorities of Jair Bolsonaro are doing too little to safeguard the world’s biggest tropical rainforest.

Fears have been growing in Brazil that firms would step back in the nation amid adverse publicity surrounding the burning woods and the possibility of international sanctions.

“Because of the fires in the Brazilian portion of the Amazon rainforest, and the links to cattle production, we’ve opted to put a temporary ban on leather in Brazil,” H&M stated in an emailed statement.

“The ban will be busy until you find plausible assurance systems in place to confirm that the leather doesn’t contribute to environmental injury from the Amazon,” it stated.

Brazil’s space research bureau INPE states that a spike this year in flames is the worst because of 2010.

An H&M spokeswoman said the vast bulk of the group leather originates from Europe and just a tiny portion from Brazil.

According to the Center for its Brazilian Tanning Industry, the first leather commerce group in Brazil, the country exported $1.44 billion of bovine leather in 2018.