How Greenpeace Is Spotlighting the Fashion Industry's "Purging"

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The fashion industry has some ground-breaking news: brands are already making progress toward purging their supply chain of hazardous chemicals. So how is this ground-breaking, so to speak? The fashion industry has long been a catalyst into many environmental-related problems, and the Greenpeace organization wants the people involved to pay their price… by putting an end to the use of hazardous chemicals in the fashion supply chain by the year 2020.

According to Greenpeace, they have seen a positive shift in the fashion industry's approach to how they use chemicals in their production of mass clothing. This "detoxification" process has been part of a 7-year-old campaign by the organization, stating, “We were really asking brands to take responsibility for the whole production, the whole supply chain, instead of just focusing on the finished products.”

Kirsten Brodde, co-author of the Detox Report, further adds, “Looking at the supply chain, this is something where now I would say the fashion industry is leading the way and showing others how to do it.”

Since launching the campaign, Greenpeace has already signed a total of 80 apparels to try and "detox" their chemical use. Fast-fashion brands such as Primark and H&M had no qualms with regards to this method, and even famous sportswear brands like Nike, Puma and Adidas have jumped into the "hazardous chemical management” bandwagon. By being part of the campaign, these brands have to submit to regular water-waste testing and disclosing results for transparency records.

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And amongst all the luxury fashion houses we have these days, only Valentino and Burberry have since signed up to join the detox-commited list of brands. It was a surprise to many as they expected fast-fashion companies would be more resistant to the transparency. “We really put a lot of effort into perforating all the luxury brands to commit to detox, and they didn’t,” says Brodde.

However, this won't stop Greenpeace and many more environmental-related organizations to keep preaching and walking the campaign. According to Brodde, "The Detox companies are well on their way to destination zero. We can see they are able to change.”

And so change, it is, for these brands.

Elonah Bioneda