Saturday, April 22, 2006

Victoria's Dirty Secret

Damn...I was expecting something...different from this website, but this is still interesting. Just differently.

In 2004 the environmental group Forest Ethics cast a spotlight on a few major catalog distributors that did not, the group felt, use enough recycled paper in their mailings. Eventually they focused on Limited Brands' Victoria's Secret; which mails out about 395 million lingerie catalogs annually. They're "one of the biggest destroyers," says Tom O'Leary, a spokesman for Forest Ethics and "they're a sexy target, admittedly." According to the group, much of the paper used by the Victoria's Secret catalog is from Canadian Forests.

For it to halt its campaign against the lingerie outfit -- which includes rallies and the Web site -- Forest Ethics demands that Victoria's Secret increase the recycled content of its catalogs and make sure its suppliers meet standards set by watchdog NGO Forest Stewardship Council. Forest Ethics has also called for Victoria's Secret to end its relationship with supplier International Paper.

Limited Brands spokesman Anthony Hebron declined to comment on where the paper for its catalogs originates or whether activism could cause the company to rethink its contract with International Paper. However, he says that since 2004, Victoria's Secret has increased the post-consumer recycled paper content of its clearance catalogs -- about 12% of the total number of catalogs -- to 80% from 20%. "We're going to increase it in the rest of the books," Hebron says. "We're going to do the right thing but we're not going to be pinned down by a date."

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