A new Greenpeace Germany report — ‘Destination Zero: seven years of Detoxing the clothing industry’ — shows how 80 fashion companies that committed to cut hazardous chemicals from their clothing production by 2020 have all achieved significant progress.
The report comes seven years after Greenpeace launched its Detox campaign, securing industry pledges to stop polluting rivers and oceans. It maps for the first time the major steps taken by all the companies across fashion, sportswear, luxury, retail and outdoor brands as well suppliers. Together, these companies represent 15% of global clothing production.
All Detox-committed brands are tackling the elimination of the 11 priority groups of hazardous chemicals identified by Greenpeace. The brands regularly report on their presence in wastewater from suppliers’ mills, and a large majority have started adding more substances to their roadmap.
72% of Detox-committed brands are working towards disclosing their suppliers lists down to Tier2/Tier3 wet processing, where the biggest use of chemicals and most water pollution occurs.
Most advanced brands intend to expand this approach to fibre production, and address the growing use of viscose.
72% report having achieved the complete elimination of per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) from products, while the remaining 28% are making good progress towards elimination.
‘While we are extremely happy to see the progress of Detox companies towards cleaning up their supply chains, 85% of the textile industry is still not doing enough to eliminate hazardous chemicals and improve factory working conditions. This is unacceptable. It is time for policy-makers to step in and make Detox a worldwide standard.’
Greenpeace Germany project lead of the Detox-my-Fashion campaign
The Greenpeace Detox campaign has changed the chemical management landscape: the industry now focuses on pollution from its supply chain, not just its products.
In addition to better industry collaboration, Greenpeace is calling for local and global regulations and for the chemical industry to take more responsibility for developing safer alternatives.
Some Detox companies are now supporting the enforcement of due diligence that will make corporations legally responsible for their supply chains, wherever they produce in the world.
Detox companies and Greenpeace agree that eliminating hazardous chemicals usage is an essential step to achieve a circular economy for textiles that avoids the endless recirculation of toxics through recycled materials.
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