BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 13 February '16

Supply chain exporting to Burberry, Prada, Valentino, Armani and Gucci to get detoxed

In the largest commitment of its kind, 20 companies from Italy’s Prato textile district have simultaneously announced their commitment to Detox, the highest standard in toxic-free fashion production.

The announcement was made at a press conference, hosted by Greenpeace, which took place in Milan on Thursday (11 February).

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Prato’s global reach

Prato is home to Italy’s oldest textile manufacturers and most extensive fashion supply chain. The region exports over €2.5 billion of clothing annually to global brands including Burberry, Prada, Valentino, Armani, and Gucci.

The Confindustria Toscana Nord, representing the largest textile district in Europe, will oversee the regional adoption of the Detox hazardous chemical elimination standards. They have never before been implemented collectively at the supply chain level.

The agreement will affect over 13 thousand tonnes of yarn and raw materials as well as over 13 million metres of fabric every year.

‘Prato’s decision will ripple throughout the global textile supply chain and hopefully encourage more manufacturers to Detox.

‘They have chosen the chemical management `gold´ standard by which all other fashion brands and sectoral hazardous chemical initiatives will be measured. Now that their own suppliers are committing to eliminate hazardous chemicals, brands such as Gucci, Prada, and Armani have no excuse but to follow suit.’

Giuseppe Onufrio, executive director, Greenpeace Italy

The story so far

To date, the Prato-based companies have already removed several hazardous chemical groups required by the Detox campaign.

These include brominated and chlorinated flame retardants, organotins compounds and amines associated with azo dyes that can have negative effects on human reproductive systems and cause cancer.

As required by any Detox action plan, the companies have set a clear and ambitious list of all hazardous chemicals they should have eliminated from the supply chain by 2020.

They have also defined shorter timelines to remove problematic hazardous chemicals including poly- and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), a chemical group used in outdoor gear, which they will discontinue using by the summer of 2016. 

The agreement, in numbers

Highlights of the Prato agreement include the removal of hazardous chemicals from:

Yarn production: 4,500 tonnes/year
Fabric production: 4,500,000 metres/year
Textile raw materials production: 1,800 tonnes/year
Yarn dyed: 3,700 tonnes/year
Fabrics dyed: 8,800,000 metres/year
Chemicals produced:  3,200 tonnes/year

‘It is important for our association and our companies of Prato to show the world that we are physically and financially committed to putting the Detox requirements into practice.

‘In the upcoming months we will continue to detox our manufacturing and further green a supply chain that proudly provides global brands with the highest standard in the textile industry.’

Andrea Cavicchi, president of Confindustria Toscana Nord

Detoxing fashion

The Greenpeace Detox campaign demands that fashion brands commit to eliminate the use of all hazardous chemicals by 2020. It also requires suppliers to disclose the releases of toxic chemicals from their facilities to communities on an independent online platform.

The Prato region’s commitments will be added to the growing list of companies choosing to Detox their fashion by 2020, including 35 international fashion and textile brands and retailers, which represent more than 15% of global textile production in terms of sales.

Among the companies joining Detox are Miroglio and Inditex as well as major international brands such as Valentino, Adidas, H&M and Burberry.

Click here to find out more about the Prato Detox Commitment.