Victoria’s Secret parent company Limited Brands and the Benetton Group have agreed to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from their supply chains and products by 2020 after pressure from Greenpeace to sign on to its Detox campaign.
Greenpeace says today’s commitment from Limited Brands includes a process to stop using phthalates and perfluorinated chemicals in its clothing before the 2020 deadline. The company will also publish pollution data this year from 80 percent of its supply chain.
A 2012 Greenpeace investigation found high levels of a hormone-disrupting phthalate in Victoria’s Secret underwear. According to Greenpeace, the product would have been banned in the EU had it been a toy.
The Benetton Group, which owns brands such as Sisley, Playlife and the United Colors of Benetton, made its Detox commitment last week. It followed the lead of Japanese casual wear brand Uniqlo, which has also agreed to ban all toxic chemicals throughout its global supply chain and products by 2020.
In December 2012, Zara, Mango, Esprit and Levi’s announced similar individual commitments. According to Greenpeace, Levi’s will require its largest suppliers with multiple facilities in China, Mexico and other locations to disclose pollution data by the end of June 2013.
The denim maker’s commitment came just days after a Greenpeace investigation found textile suppliers for Levi’s, Zara and many other global clothing brands likely dump a wide range of hazardous chemicals into China’s wastewater systems.
Greenpeace says other global brands including Calvin Klein, Gap and G Star Raw continue to ignore the issue and have yet to sign on the Detox campaign, which was launched in July 2011. Some 40,000 people have joined the Greenpeace campaign since November, the nonprofit says.