Global apparel company Kontoor Brands Inc, which owns denim brands Wrangler and Lee, has committed to sustainability in its purchasing and use of sustainable forest materials. Kontoor has announced its first Forest Derived Materials (FDM) policy which it says strengthens its commitment to responsibly sourcing materials throughout its global operations and supply chain.

“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,” said Scott Baxter, President and CEO, Kontoor Brands.

“Our FDM policy requires us to promote and advance sustainable forest-based products, and we are also placing a priority on alternative fibre sources. We encourage others to join us, and we look forward to partnering with the many respected organisations and stakeholders who have already begun this essential journey.”

Kontoor’s forestry policy covers the sustainable and responsible use of forest products, to avoid deforestation and forest degradation including the loss of ancient and endangered forests, loss of biodiversity and habitat, use of forced labour in making forestry products and loss of indigenous peoples and local community rights.

It prioritises 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. To ensure continued progress, Kontoor is committed to reducing virgin material use and increasing the use of materials with recycled content, while also seeking innovative material solutions including alternative fibre sources.

Kontoor Brands says it is committed to working with NGOs and relevant stakeholders to ensure a continued evolution of its FDM policy. As part of that commitment, Kontoor is actively engaged in the CanopyStyle initiative, which works with over 170 leading apparel brands to eliminate ancient and endangered forest fibre from their products.

“Kontoor is helping drive forward the retail industry’s commitment to large scale forest conservation and climate solutions,” said Nicole Rycroft, Founder and Executive Director, Canopy. “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.”