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).
Toxic clothes – government urged to ban sale of toxic, fur-trimmed children’s clothing
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.