We had no idea “rainforest-free” clothing was a thing, but now we need to change our shopping habits

Would you be surprised to learn that some of your favorite clothing might be hurting the rainforest? We were. But there’s good news: Companies have begun taking note of this problem, and are pledging to start manufacturing rainforest-free clothing. The great news? This change is totally possible.

The beautiful fabrics that add drape to our clothing — viscose, modal, and rayon — are manufactured from cellulose, which is made from trees that get ground up with chemicals to form a pulp. That pulp is fed through a spinneret to create thread, which can be spun into fabric.

The problem with cellulose is that it creates a LOT of waste. In fact, 65% of the tree gets discarded as byproduct. And according to Racked, 120 million trees will be cut down to make our clothes this year alone. Worse still, clothing manufacturers have been cutting down old, beautiful rainforest trees to produce cellulose for decades; up to 40% of those 120 million trees will come from rainforests.

That’s why rainforest activists and clothing brands hope to find a more sustainable way to produce the fabrics we love, and to preserve those magical forests for our children, and their children, and so on.