Burberry has committed to eliminating hazardous chemicals from its supply chain by Jan. 1, 2020, following weeks of Greenpeace-led protests at its stores and consumer pressure on its social media channels.
The luxury brand says it will first prioritize apparel and by the end of June 2014, it will begin disclosing the chemical discharges of its suppliers in the global South. By July 2016, it will eliminate all per- and poly-fluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in its supply-chain.
PFCs are typically used by clothing manufacturers to make garments water repellent and stain resistant. They are bioaccumulative in wildlife and humans and have been found to be toxic in laboratory animals, producing reproductive, developmental, and systemic effects in tests, according to the EPA. H&M stopped using PFCs in its products as of Jan. 1, 2013.
The Burberry announcement follows a Greenpeace investigation that found hazardous chemicals in children’s clothes made by 12 brands including Burberry, Disney, Adidas and Gap. The report is the latest effort in the organization’s ongoing Detox campaign, which calls for major clothing brands to commit to zero discharge of all hazardous chemicals by 2020.