Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Victoria's Secret, the Benetton Group and Uniqlo Sign-On to Detox Fashion

Due to pressure from Greenpeace, Victoria's Secret parent company Limited Brands as well as the Benetton Group and Uniqlo have all agreed to eliminate hazardous chemicals from their supply chains and products by 2020. Greenpeace is behind the consumer driven pressure campaign that has succeeded in changing the business practices and processes of some of the world's largest clothing companies. In less than a year over a dozen big fashion brands have been forced to capitulate.

Greenpeace uses a very savvy strategy that engages people through a variety of social media initiatives. They are also are involved in direct actions at company headquarters or retail locations.

In 2012 Greenpeace launched an investigation into the practices, processes and products used by a number of clothing brands. Victoria's Secret is but the latest high profile clothing brand to succumb to Greenpeace's very successful "Detox Fashion" campaign.

Limited Brands has agree to stop using hormone-disrupting phthalates and perfluorinated chemicals in its clothing before 2020. The company will also be more transparent. Limited Brands has indicated that they will start by publishing pollution data from 80 percent of their supply chain this year.

The agreement to 'detox' applies to other popular brands owned by the Benetton Group such as Sisley, Playlife and the United Colors of Benetton. Japanese casual wear brand Uniqlo has also recently agreed to ban all toxic chemicals throughout its global supply chain and products by 2020.  In 2012, Zara, Nike, H&M, Mango, Esprit and Levi’s announced similar individual commitments.

The Detox Fashion campaign has been very successful. Despite this success some businesses refuse to see the writing on the wall. In the meantime Greenpeace continues to use its social media oriented grassroots consumer campaign to put pressure on other top fashion brands like Calvin Klein, Gap and G Star Raw.

Greenpeace's efforts are not restricted to the fashion industry, they have also succeeded in forcing other leading brands to change their practices including Waitrose, Trader Joe'sLego and Matel,

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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