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Timberland owner stops buying leather from Brazil

By JOSEPH PISANIAugust 29, 2019
Smoke rises from a rainforest in Altamira, Para state, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Wednesday that Latin America's Amazon countries will meet in September to discuss both protecting and developing the rainforest region, which has been hit by weeks of devastating fires.(AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Smoke rises from a rainforest in Altamira, Para state, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Wednesday that Latin America's Amazon countries will meet in September to discuss both protecting and developing the rainforest region, which has been hit by weeks of devastating fires.(AP Photo/Leo Correa)

NEW YORK (AP) — The owner of Timberland, Vans and several other shoe and clothing brands said Thursday that it has stopped buying leather from Brazil as fires continue to destroy the Amazon rainforest in that country.

VF Corp. said it won’t purchase leather and hide from Brazilian suppliers until it’s assured that the materials “do not contribute to environmental harm in the country.”

The current fires in the Amazon were set by those who are clearing the forest for cattle ranching and crops. About 60% of the Amazon rainforest is in Brazil.

VF, based in Greensboro, North Carolina, said 5% of the leather it purchases for its products comes from Brazil.

“We do uphold our values and our commitment to the planet and its people no matter how small the volume is from a region or supplier,” the company said in a statement.

Besides Timberland boots and Vans sneakers, VF also makes The North Face jackets, Eastpak backpacks and Dickies clothing.

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