As Milan fashion week gets under way, Greenpeace International revealed that the same hazardous chemicals used in the manufacturing of fast fashion are used by ‘exclusive’ luxury brands.
In addition, the concentration of one hazardous chemical (nonlyphenol ethoxylates or NPEs) in some items labelled “Made in Italy” could raise the question as to whether the clothing tested was entirely manufactured in Europe.
Chiara Campione, Fashion Duel project leader with Greenpeace Italy, said,“Luxury brands thrive on the exclusivity and quality of their products. This report shows they are deceiving their customers with toxic lies. This also goes beyond luxury fashion-hazardous chemicals affect everyone. These brands need to Detox their supply chains and realise that people can see through their grand illusion.”
For the report, 27 products from eight luxury fashion brands were tested. 16 of the products tested positive for one or more of the following chemicals: nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), phthalates, per- or polyfluorinated chemicals, and antimony.
The highest concentration of NPEs was detected in a Louis Vuitton branded ballerina shoe while the highest concentration of PFCs was found in a jacket of a luxury fashion brand. Some of these chemicals, when leached into the environment from factories and the clothes themselves, can accumulate in the world’s waterways and have hormone-disrupting properties.
“It’s time these luxury brands lived up to their reputation as fashion trendsetters, and started leading the toxic-free fashion revolution. By comitting to Detox their supply chains, brands like Valentino and Burberry have shown that beautiful fashion doesn’t have to cost the earth,” added Campione.
Greenpeace’s Detox campaign is calling for a commitment from major brands to achieve a zero discharge level of all hazardous chemicals, by 2020. Currently, thanks to public pressure, 20 major companies like Nike, Adidas Puma, H&M, M&S, C&A, Li-Ning, Zara, Mango, Esprit, Levi's, Uniqlo, Benetton, Victoria's Secret, G-Star Raw, Valentino, Coop, Canepa, Burberry and Primark have already made major Detox commitments and are moving towards a transparent supply chain and toxic chemical elimination.