Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Can fashion save The Amazon?

Last year, I wrote a profile piece about an inspirational woman called Bia Saldanha, who has pioneered a process of rubber production that supports farmers in The Amazon and fights against deforestation. The interview was set up by fashion brand Veja, which sources rubber from The Amazon for its brilliant shoes, showing that fashion can be both sustainable and cool (the prices are pretty reasonable and the brand is stocked by some of the UK’s most directional shops). Tomorrow evening, you too could meet Bia and find out more about her work. Journalist Lucy Siegle is hosting a conversation between Bia and novelist Ed Siegle (autor of The Invisibles) at The Hub in King’s Cross, London. The tickets are free but spaces are limited. To book, email And let me know what you think.


  1. Instinct and cynicism says a big "NO!" (get real etc). But would be great if you could summarise the event/conversation on this blog. Would love to be persuaded / hopeful!

  2. Ok, I expected this sort of response from a leading question as the title of my blog post. And, no, fashion alone cannot save the Amazon, but what this event showed was that fashion can certainly support the Amazon and the communities living there.

    This is what came out from the talk... The cost of natural rubber has become relatively inexpensive, so people have moved away from rubber tapping towards cattle-rearing and wood extraction as more profitable activities - but both involve land clearing. Soils, therefore, become less protected by vegetation and the Amazon's survival depends on the sustainable management of its natural resources. Latex, extracted from rubber trees, is one way of achieving this. And by paying a fair price for this, rubber tappers receive a better income to sustain this activity.

    A lot more was discussed and this video explains the process quite clearly:

    Hope this helps a bit, though.

    Thanks for your comment,

  3. Hi, Ana, I went to the event, it was great! And wrote about Veja. I'd love to talk to Bia too! Her work is amazing! If you have time, have a look on:



    xx :-)

  4. Just read your article - really interesting and in-depth. I really liked it. Good to see another blogger supporting the Amazon!

  5. :-) did you go to the event? How about that cuppa coffee?! xx