LOS ANGELES, Nov 29 – Spanish fashion group Inditex, the owners of Zara, Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear, have promised to cut out a range of toxic chemicals from their clothing lines by 2020.
The decision comes after the publication last week of a highly damaging report by the Greenpeace environmental group, “Toxic Threads – The Big Fashion Stitch-Up,” which criticised the group’s use of toxic chemicals.
“In line with Inditex’s long-term sustainability programme, Inditex recognises the urgent need for eliminating industrial releases of all hazardous chemicals,” said Inditex in a statement released November 27 on the group’s corporate site. The company has committed to a wholesale reduction in the use of chemicals like formaldehyde, arylamines, phenols (PCP, TeCP), cadmium, lead, chromium (VI), nickel, and allergenic dyes.
Inditex has promised to release more details about its supply chain, publish an updated “Restricted Substances List,” and audit processes by the end of April 2013 and every year after.
The company has also vowed to end the use of APEOs (Alkylphenol ethoxylates), chemicals currently used in the garment manufacturing process, but which have been banned in Germany since 1998, and are described by scientists as “highly toxic to aquatic life.”
Inditex has committed to changing its business practices, but has called on the fashion industry as a whole to rally around the cause – “the 2020 goal also demands the collective action of industry, as well as engagement of regulators and other stakeholders. To this end, Inditex will work with other companies in the apparel sector and other brands it could sell, as well as material suppliers, the broader chemical industry, NGOs and other stakeholders to achieve this goal.”
Puma, Nike, and H&M quickly announced a ‘joint roadmap’ after the publication of the ‘Toxic Threads’ study and were joined by C&A and Chinese sportswear brand Li-Ning, which both made individual ‘Detox’ commitments welcomed by the environmental group.
Inditex is one of the largest clothes manufacturers in the world with global sales of €13.79 billion (RM54.50 billion) in 2012. The company’s best-known store, Zara is present in 1,671 locations around the world. – AFP/Relaxnews