For over 50 years now Mattel has been choosing Barbie’s career for her. She’s had a lot of different professions over the years but Mattel’s latest choice for Barbie: ‘Rainforest Destroyer’, is arguably the most controversial career choice yet. It means a whole new look for this iconic doll and a lot of new accessories. If you’re a creative type, a budding designer, just enjoy dressing dolls – or know someone else who might fit the bill – join in the contest to design the Rainforest Destroyer look for Mattel’s most famous toy.

Mattel Product Barbie. © Greenpeace
Forensic testing of Mattel branded packaging or paper products manufactured in Indonesia revealed mixed tropical hardwoods (MTH). The presence of MTH strongly indicates that the pulp fibre originates from clearance of natural rainforests in Indonesia.

The deforestation drama between Ken and Barbie that has played out over the past two weeks hasn’t just meant a career change for Barbie. It’s meant a lot of public attention and scrutiny has been brought to the fact that Mattel are wrapping toys in cheap packaging that comes at the cost of Indonesian rainforests. And they aren’t alone.

Other toy companies have the same problem. Major companies like Hasbro, Disney and Lego also have deforestation in their supply chains. And the destruction of Indonesian rainforests for packaging and other paper products isn’t the only thing these toy companies have in common. Now that this problem has been brought to their attention, none of them have so far committed to fixing this problem once and for all. Fixing the problem means completely removing products from their supply chains that come from deforestation – and making sure it stays deforestation-free. That requires strong clear policy commitments, tough timelines and due diligence.  Only then can these companies ensure that they are helping to protect Indonesia’s rainforests. Mattel has so far only made vague statements about future plans, not confirmed that it is taking immediate action.  

We’ve already seen how strong your commitment is to the world’s rainforests and the amazing life that they support. Your actions and words have convinced companies like Nestlé to commit to removing deforestation from their products. Every day we see your comments and messages showing appreciation for our work to protect rainforests. Now we need Mattel, and the toy industry at large, to follow your lead and commit themselves to protecting rainforests too.

What are we asking toy companies to commit to?

•    Immediately suspend all purchases from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) or any connected or subsidiary company
•    Maintain this suspension until APP implements commitments to stop deforestation for the production of its pulp and paper products.
•    Become a leader in the use of sustainable forest products through implementing progressive procurement policies that cover all pulp and paper products, including packaging