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DETOX! Cleaning up their act

Caroline Zöller

Published on 18.11.2019

Greenpeace started their Detox campaign in July 2011 by challenging global clothing and shoe brands to stop releasing dangerous chemicals from their global supply and production chains into local water supplies. As a result, many manufacturers and retailers committed themselves to improving the environmental aspects of their supply chains.

79 global fashion brands, ranging from H&M to Adidas or Aldi, for example, are currently on-board and have signed the Detox Declaration. Companies who have signed up to the campaign promise to detoxify their textile production and substitute pollutants with non-harmful substances by 2020. According to Greenpeace, consumer pressure plays a major role here. No brand or company today wishes to be faced with indignant consumers and images of rivers the same hue as this season’s fashion colour and covered in toxic foam. “This also has an impact on wider production processes,” explains Kirsten Brodde, Greenpeace expert for textiles, “because a factory in China will not implement non-toxic production for H&M while at the same time still using hazardous chemicals for another company.”

According to Intertek, a service-provider in the area of quality assurance, testing, inspection and certification, more and more manufacturers and retailers are formally committing themselves to providing greater environmental protection in their supply chains. Intertek has developed a complete service concept for the textiles and clothing industries as a reaction to the growing number of inquiries they have received. This service now covers the basics such as an analysis of the complete supply chain and process optimisation systems, right through to managing the use of chemicals. Intertek’s approach is based on three pillars which cover all links in the supply chain: training/workshop, auditing and testing. These pillars can help identify sources of any undesired chemicals and reduce the amount used in the supply chain as well as optimising the traceability of processes and information between retail chains and consumers.

At PromoTex Expo, you will have the opportunity to talk live to the specialists from Intertek who will be represented on the Textile Campus in Hall 12 with a large test lab. You will be able to obtain detailed information on many different topics and see practical examples and lab tests. Furthermore, an Intertek expert will be opening the PromoTex Expo lecture programme on the Forum 13 stage at 11am on 7th January, 2020 with a talk on, “DETOX: the red card for chemicals. What the textile industry can do about pollutants in textiles and just how detox works.”

Image: Alessandro Vona / Greenpeace