Model Lily Cole has launched a line of sustainably-sourced rubber jewellery, with profits going towards saving one billion trees in the Amazon rainforest which will be stocked by stylistpick.com.
“It did feel like a bizarre idea at first,” Cole admits, speaking to the Telegraph, “When someone says ‘rubber jewellery’ – I didn’t really have a precedent in my head of what that looks like to be honest with you. But what we’re trying to do is look at the ways that consumers in the UK can engage with wild rubber, and by purchasing it, protect the rainforest.”
As the ambassador for Sky Rainforest Rescue, she considered a number of sustainability projects and settled on wild rainforest rubber sourced from Acre, northwest Brazil.
“Right now there isn’t a market distinction between wild rubber and plantation rubber,” she explains. “Essentially it costs more to produce wild rubber because it’s a much more manual, less industrialised process; local tappers have to go into the forest and tap the trees accordingly. In the short-term the land is more valuable for cattle farming, so currently there isn’t enough of a financial incentive to do wild rubber trading, to protect the forest from being deforested.”
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