Caring for our forests globally
National Sites

Exploring the potential of forests in fashion

The world of forest certification never stands still, and we are always looking to involve new sectors and enable the certification of new products. In the past we have seen projects develop the Fashion show model 2017certification of rubber wood, cork and wild food; we continued this trend in 2016 by entering into the world of fashion!

Forests, while usually associated with the production of wood and paper products, also provide materials and fibers that make up many of the common consumer products that we use today, including in the fashion industry.

Forests provide so many essential ingredients: from high heels and handbags made from cork, wooden frames for eyeglasses, to the rayon and viscose items in our wardrobes.

However, we need to ensure that the forest based materials used to make our clothes originate from sustainably managed forests, and furthermore, that these garments are made in a sustainable and ethical manner.

PEFC-certified fashion

The 2016 PEFC Collaboration Fund supported PEFC Italy as they teamed up with the Institute for Italian Design (IID) to bring the sustainable ethos of PEFC into the fashion world.

PEFC Italy worked with teachers and fashion students from IID to create a collection of clothes and accessories made entirely from wood and wood-based products, incorporating the use of production scrap and practices that support the use of eco-materials.

Fashion show Perugia 2017

The creation of this collection had two important outcomes: helping develop a sustainable design method and providing the perfect opportunity to promote the use of PEFC-certified, sustainably produced, forest-based materials within the fashion community.

PEFC Italy and IID promoted the clothing range throughout the project, with the highlight coming at the end of the academic year with a public fashion show in Perugia. Beautiful and innovative clothes and accessories, all made out of materials from PEFC-certified forests, were showcased in front of a packed out audience.

fashion show designers 2017
The four young designers alongside their creations at the fashion show

The final goal of this project is to place the PEFC label on the clothes, creating the very first PEFC fashion brand!

Lead organization

Project partners

Making sustainability more fashionable than ever

The initiative “Forests for Fashion” was first launched in 2014 by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). Since then it inspired other initiatives and partners to join forces and continue growing the idea.

The “Forests for Fashion – Fashion for Forests” publication, released in June 2017, provides deeper insights on what happens when sustainable forest management meets sustainable fashion trends.

PEFC has now taken over the lead and works with young designers to bring the trend to a wider audience, while ensuring that forest-based materials originate from sustainably managed forests.

Check out the full UNECE press release...