It’s well known at this point that ethical fashion is on the rise. Consumers, perhaps at a higher rate than ever, are often demanding a level and transparency and ethics from their brands, particularly in regards to the environment. We are only now becoming aware of the true cost of fashion, which often includes water pollution, deforestation, animal abuse etc. It is no surprise then that many well-established brands and startups are looking at concepts such as eco-friendly and vegan fashion.
Environmental organizations such as Greenpeace have, for quite some time now, been attempting to serve as somewhat of a watchdog toward industries that implement such practices. In fact, Greenpeace has been advocating for the end to these practices in the fashion supply chain by 2020.
In their latest report, Destination Zero: Seven Years of Detoxing the Clothing Industry, the organization has determined that the overall industry has made progress, as many brands have stopped the use of hazardous and environmentally degrading chemicals. Kristen Brodde, the co-author of the new reports, states “We were really asking brands to take responsibility for the whole production, the whole supply chain, instead of just focusing on the finished products. Looking at the supply chain, this is something where now I would say the fashion industry is leading the way and showing others how to do it.”
Greenpeace had led the campaign by asking 80 brands to sign themselves to the detox initiative. Among those brands are H&M, Nike, Puma, Adidas, Levi’s, Primark etc. According to Business of Fashion, “almost all detox-committed brands have moved towards greater transparency by implementing regular water-waste testing and disclosing the results.” However, the same cannot be said by many luxury brands.
Aside from Burberry and Valentino, Greenpeace has found that many high fashion brands are less willing to commit to detox initiatives. “We really put a lot of effort into perforating all the luxury brands to commit to detox, they didn’t,” said Brodde. Brodde had expressed surprise that the report turned out this way, as she had expected fast fashion brands to be more resistant. After all, the brand like Uniqlo, Inditex, and H&M are among the leading names in the report.
Whether we will see a change in the luxury sector or not will only be known in time. However, Brodde has said that she is overall happy with the results. “The Detox companies are all well on their way to destination zero. We can see they are able to change.”
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