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Apparel retailer Aldi pledges to Detox its supply chain
Apr '15
In response to the Greenpeace Detox Campaign, Aldi one of the top ten discounters worldwide, has pledged to ban all hazardous chemicals from their textile and footwear supply chain by 2020.

“Aldi scored poorly when Greenpeace tested children's clothing and children's shoes from various discounters for hazardous chemicals last Fall,” Greenpeace said in a press release.

In a discount store shopping guide, Greenpeace also found that the company was lagging behind in terms of the recyclability of its textiles, social standards and the use of raw materials, like cotton.

As part of their commitment, Aldi agreed to completely ban dangerous pollutants such as alkylphenolethoxylates (APEOs) by the end of June 2016.

As per Aldi’s commitment, per and polyfluorinated chemicals that can harm the immune and reproductive systems will be eliminated from its textiles by the end of 2016 at the latest.

In order to inform the people around the factories about the chemicals in their waterways, 80 per cent of Aldi's suppliers are required to disclose their wastewater data by the end of March 2016.

This obligation relates to Aldi's entire own-brand range of textiles and footwear and also covers all household textiles such as towels or bedding.

Aldi is even looking to establish a program for sustainable consumption by the end of June 2016.

Greenpeace textiles expert, Kirsten Brodde, said, "In the discount retail game, Aldi is a huge player and now since Aldi has pledged to remove toxic chemicals from their textiles, we look to other discount retailers follow suit."

Lidl, Rewe/Penny, and the retail giant Tchibo have already responded to the Greenpeace campaign and announced they will Detox their production.

According to Greenpeace, Tchibo even wants to introduce a take-back and recycling program and this is all the more important in view of the discounters' rapidly growing textile business.

"With Aldi, Lidl and Penny cleaning up their acts, the whole discount sector is shifting towards clean textile production,” Brodde too added.

“Distancing themselves from throw-away fashion, this is what we now expect from the world's largest retailers, Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Tesco," Brodde observed.

31 leading international fashion companies including six Italian suppliers have pledged to Greenpeace to clean up their production by 2020.

The wastewater from textiles factories pollutes waters worldwide, with the problem being particularly serious in the producing countries in Asia.

“In China some two-thirds of all waters are contaminated with hazardous chemicals, mainly from the textile industry,” Greenpeace noted.

In its textile business, Aldi has annual sales of €2.5 billion in Germany alone, which is almost ten per cent of its total sales of €27.5 billion. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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