• Japanese leader of the textile industry Fast Retailing Group, which includes popular brands as Uniqlo and Theory, is going to stop toxic production in 2020. The company promised this at the beginning of January, 2013

  • Burberry was one of the last who decided to switch to green production - at the end of January, 2014. The company will refuse from using toxic chemicals by January 1, 2020

  • And the Italian giant Benetton moved on the green side with Uniqlo one year ago, in the beginning of 2013. The company also plans to refuse from using harmful substances by 2020

  • Danish brand G-Star decided to work on the environmental impact after activists have appealed to the director of the brand at Fashion Week in Copenhagen. This momentous event took place on January 31, 2013 - after several years of struggle

  • The largest denim producer Levi's is known as an environmentally responsible company. In 2020, the production cycle of jeans will no longer contain any harmful substances by December 2013. Enjoy your outfit!

  • Zara is the largest Spanish shop selling most clothing in Europe and in growing Asian market. The brand will get rid of toxic substances in 2015, and from the rest of it – by 2020. Negotiations began in 2011 and ended in November 2012

  • Adidas and Nike are major sports brands of the planet. They were one of the first who decided to make detoxification – on August 31, 2011. They will get rid of toxic substances by 2020, which is very important, because a lot of synthetic materials and dyes are used in the production of sports clothing

  • Swedish textile giant H&M, which has become a synonymous of fast fashion, also undertook to detox in 2020. It happened in September 2011. And since the end of 2012, the company have been publishing all the information about its impact on the environment

  • Valentino sales volumes can not be compared with any of the above giants. However, this is one of the few luxury brands, who made ​​commitments to eliminate the use of toxic substances by 2020

  • Victoria's Secret is the most popular lingerie brand in the world. But, unfortunately, its products are unsafe for humans and the environment. A year ago the brand committed to detox in 2020 and became the 14th brand to join the campaign, attracting underwear brand La Senza, which belongs to the same group of manufacturers

Harmless fashion:

Toxic waste is out of fashion

It may seem that fashion industry is the most beautiful human job: super models, season trends, georgeous photos, luxurious fashion shows. But the inside of fashion is ecosystems destruction, slave labor of hundreds of thousands of people, an incredible waste of resources - including water. And all this is needed for your cloth that will serve you one or two years and then get to garbage heap of history. Fortunately, it all will stay in the past: mass market fashion of the 21st century becomes "green". Two dozens of large companies - from mass market to expensive pret-a-porter - have pledged to stop using toxic substances in textile manufacturing by 2020. We'll tell you what you don't need to be afraid of in clothing.

Manufacturing. Greenpeace project Detox started in 2011 - when one of the rivers of Indonesia exceeded the concentration of toxic substances from a textile factory.

"As a result of public pressure textile producers commit themselves to clear the clothes from toxic chemical compounds that may be incorporated into tissues from which it is made, - says Greenpeace. Getting of these substances to the environment and their ability to accumulate is aggravated by a huge amount of produced clothes, due to the "fast fashion" (frequent change of collections and disposable products).

Threat to us and nature. Up to 10 000 different chemical compounds are used on clothes production - colorants, helping to print on fabric, various compounds that modify the properties of textiles. The most dangerous groups of these substances are nonoxynols, phthalates and azo dyes. Moreover, they are dangerous during production process and while using: some wubstances are washed away from the fabric and get into the environment. And when the clothing gets to disposal dump, it continues to produce toxic compounds into soil, air and groundwater.

Amount of nonoxynols in fabric is governed by national laws, but these substances tend to accumulate in human tissues and in the environment. Their effect on the body is not yet fully examined. It is known that they influence human body similarly as female hormone estrogen does.

Phthalates were detected in almost all the samples of studied clothing. They are toxic compounds that EU legislation ranks as "substances of very high concern". Some of these compounds have a serious impact on the body's hormones, some of them are harmful to the reproductive system.

Amines are a byproduct of azo dyes, a broad group of chemicals that are used for coloring various types of textiles. Amines are considered to be carcinogenic, and their amount in clothes is regulated by European law. Amines in rather high concentrations were found in some samples of mass market clothing.


What to do. About 80 billion of textile products are annually produced in the world. It means there are 11 items per each pearson on Earth. However, the consumption of these products is very uneven in the world, comparing to all other goods. The leaders are the countries of Western Europe and the USA. For example, every resident of Germany, according to statistics, buys 70 items of clothing every year.

The reason for excessive consumption is changing structure of fashion industry. Another three dozen years ago the collections were changed twice a year. And now, with the development of "fast fashion" some mass market brands produce 6-7 main collections and a couple of additional collections or capsule collections each year. We use to buy a thing for little money, wearing it year and a half, and then ruthlessly throw out.

For example, the Germans throw out a million tons of clothing each year. And Americans throw out about 13 million tons. If we turn it into the water - at the rate of 200 tons of water per 1 ton of textile products - it turns out that the Germans drained away four million tons of water, and residents of the United States did it with 2 billion 600 million tons!

So what can we, the ordinary citizens, do? First, think every time. Do we really need a new pair of trendy jeans or is it just a moment of weakness, and a couple of seasons we'll find them getting dusty in the closet? Secondly, we should buy clothes of brands which openly report their environmental policy and which are coming or have already came to a production which is safe for us and for the environment. Learn more about them on Detox website.

Силами Disqus