Brazilian Dona Rufina fashion brand first to obtain Friend of the Earth certification for environmental sustainability and social accountability.

The fashion industry seems to be responsabile for 10% of CO2 emissions and 20% of global water waste. Cotton production alone consumes 24% of insecticides and 11% of pesticides used in agriculture, covering 3% of the global cultivate area. Poverty, unsustainable working conditions and gender issues are closely related to this industry, which employs 80 % women (Source UNECE).

IN order to reduce the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry, Friend of the Earth, the international project of certification of products from sustainable agriculture and farming, has launched the new Sustainable Fashion certification.

Dona Rufina, a ‘slow-fashion’ company founded and managed by designer Luciana Bulcão and participated mainly by local women, aims to preserve and enhance the Brazilian Pampa cultural tradition and protect the enviroment. Dona Rufina’s first collection of bags, shoes and accessories is a tribute to the women described by the famous Brazilian writer Érico Veríssimo and was born from Luciana Bulcão’s travels in the southern region of Bagé and Lavras do Sul, where she met the artisans custodians of this tradition. “Wool was losing its value as a raw material. Young women didn’t have the same interest as their grandmothers in this ancient artisanal knowledge,” explains the designer, who with this project reactivated local economies and promoted female empowerment.

Dona Rufina’s project reflects the founding values behind our new certification dedicated to sustainable fashion – concludes Paolo Bray –Its resuse of wool reduces the impact of production on the environment.”.

Products carrying Friend of the Earth Sustainable Fashion ecolabel undergo  a rigorous independent audit process to verify compliance with strict sustainability requirements, which include the protection of wild fauna and flora; appropriate management of water, energy and waste; social accountability.


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