Detox is a campaign by GreenPeace International demanding toxic free fashion and a future of clean water. The campaign challenges fashion brands to work with their suppliers and eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals into our waterways. These hazardous chemical consist of phthalates and cancer-causing amines in addition to nonylphenol ethoxylates.  Nonylphenol ethoxylates can break down to a chemical with hormone-disrupting properties. The fashion industry has long been a contributor to the pollution of waterways around the world with its use of hazardous chemicals to print, dye, and wash the clothes.

Wash Away Greenwashers

As of January 2013, reputable brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Zara, Mango, Esprit, Benetton (United Colors of Benetton, Uniqlo (Japan’s leading international casual wear brand), and G-Star (Dutch denim brand) all made trustworthy Detox commitments.  The commitment is to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemical throughout its entire global supply chain and products by 2020. In the past Detox commitments were not taken seriously as Greenwashers like Gap and Calvin Klein made empty commitments. Greenwashers are entities who fudge the facts in an attempt to make themselves seem more environmentally friendly and responsible than they really are. Levi’s and G-star were labeled such until recently.

The Rising Sun

Uniqlo’s parent company (Fast Retailing Group) is Japan’s largest fashion company, and plans to lead the initiative by disclosing discharge data from at least 80 percent of its suppliers (including all of its facilities) in 2013. This information will give people near manufacturing facilities, press, and citizens the right to know what is being discharged into the environment.  Fast Retailing Group’s actions will also put pressure on other fashion labels to disclose more environmental information from their suppliers.

Equally impressive is the company’s commitment to lead the development of alternatives to the hazardous chemicals that are currently used by the fashion industry. This is a big win for communities around the world and is a start of a winning battle against pollution of waterways.

Fashion Forward Detox Companies

Currently there are fourteen fashion leaders who have committed to Detox. They are Nike, Adidas, Puma, H&M, M&S, C&A, Li-Ning, Zara, Mango, Esprit, Levi’s, Uniqlo, Benetton, and Victoria’s Secret. Fashion brands need to realize that they have the right to demand toxic free fashion from their suppliers and should do so, because, as the Detox slogan goes, “beautiful fashion shouldn’t cause toxic pollution”.

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