SUMMARY: Fordlandia is a initiative producing and promoting Amazonian wild rubber products. Wild Rubber is a sustainable source of income for the marginalised forest communities who can make living from the forest and in doing so protect their environment from logging and farming.

PROBLEM SPACE: “Natural rubber is a much overlooked essential material used for a huge variety of things in our world.

Rubber comes from the latex of the rubber tree native to the Amazon. Today, synthetic rubber derived from petroleum makes up over half of the total rubber market. Natural rubber is valued for its higher elasticity, density and toughness- but the vast majority comes from commercial rubber plantations in Asia. As demand for rubber increases globally, old forests across Asia are cleared for rubber plantations at an alarming rate.

The Amazon Rainforest is the only place in the world where rubber is collected from wild rubber trees interspersed throughout natural rainforest. Every minute the equivalent of 3 football pitches is destroyed in the Amazon Rainforest for timber and land for rearing beef and soya.

Poor marginalised forest communities have little power and unfortunately most industry in the rainforest is based on the destruction of the forest. Rubber tapping employs them and their whole family whilst protecting the forest by finding value in it’s natural state without it’s destruction. 1kg of Latex is worth more than 1kg of beef but tappers have struggled to connect with buyers, Fordlandia will make the supply chain.”

SOLUTION: “Solution

To protect the rainforest with custodians in the form of Rubber Tappers who each patrol over 100 rubber trees a day integrated in the wild forest. In doing so they create a economy based on the vitality of the forest rather than itäó»s destruction.

Our model is simply to make a design collection, a exhibition and a film that shows the incredible potential of wild rubber both in soft and in hard vulcanised form. As well as using other sustainably harvested forest materials.

The design collection will be available to buy to create income for the tappers, the profits from which would be invested in their the tappers themselves, basic tools to process the rubber in the field for higher quality product before it gets to a processing factory.

The exhibition will start at the Fashion Space Gallery in London before touring to New York and Detroit. This will raise awareness about wild rubber and show the potential of the material and social system around it.

The film will reach the greatest number of people. We use film to explain environmental narratives purely through visuals which has led to us connecting with a international audience. The Fordlandia film will inform and inspire others to use natural rubber and in doing connect us to the greatest bio diverse wilderness on earth.”

CONTACT: [email protected]