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Global Apparel Brands Carry Toxic Chemicals Says Greenpeace

Clothing may be hazardous to your health and to the health of the planet.

That’s what Greenpeace, the non-profit environmental activist organization, claims after testing twenty leading fashion brands.

For the tests, an independent laboratory analyzed 141 garments purchased from retailers in 29 countries. At least some garments from every brand were found to be affected by toxic chemicals.

Among the companies with toxic chemicals in their products, according to Greenpeace, are fashion giants Armani, Benetton, Blažek, C & A, Calvin Klein, Diesel, Esprit, Jack & Jones, H & M, Levi’s, Mango, Marks & Spencer, Only, Metersbonwe, Tommy Hilfiger, Vancl, Vero Moda, and Zara.

Hazardous chemicals found in some items of clothing from the above firms included carcinogenic amines derived from azo dyes, toxic phthalates, and a hazardous substance called NPE.

Beyond the negative impact on people who wear clothing contaminated by these chemicals, textile manufacturing facilities using these chemicals may be polluting water if they don’t employ EPA-approved disposal processes.

In the wake of these findings, Greenpeace is more energetically pursuing its Detox Campaign, directed at the manufacturers and brands involved.

“The testing results reveal how much toxic chemicals these brands are dumping in China and other developing nations where products are made and regulations are loose,” said
Li Yifang, East Asia Greenpeace Toxics Campaigner.

“As the world’s biggest fashion retailers, the likes of Zara have no choice but to change their practices, not only for its consumers but also for the communities affected by its irresponsible suppliers,” Li said.

Zara, with an annual production of about 850 million apparel units, is one of the firms targeted by the Greenpeace Detox Campaign. More than 200,000 consumers and activists are reportedly participating in the Greenpeace campaign and have asked Zara to abandon the substances and processes that cause apparel contamination and environmental pollution.

Because of its immense size, “Zara is ideally positioned to be a catalyst for wider change within the clothing industry,” said Greenpeace in a recent statement.

“Suppliers listen to brands like Zara because they provide them with such huge amounts of business, and as an industry leader it is clear that where Zara goes, others will soon follow,” said the statement.



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