Can Fashion Help Small Farmers Preserve the Amazon?
On a rainy March afternoon, Rogério Mendes strides through the dripping vegetation of a tract of virgin Amazonian forest and stops at a tree with scars arranged in neat diagonal rows across its trunk. From his back pocket he produces a wood-handled tool with a blade on one end, called a cabrita, and cuts another diagonal line though the bark, beneath the others. A milky white goo—raw liquid latex—begins to trickle down this tiny canal and into a metal pail below. “I love being in the forest, it’s an inexplicable feeling,” says the 23-year-old, who sports a tattered canvas hat and a forearm inked with tree tattoos.