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Detox Campaign Leads to Removal of Toxic Chemicals From Children's Apparel

Greenpeace finds many major children's labels sell clothes made with toxic chemicals, prompting some retailers to change their ways.


What if we told you that the shirt on your child's back is full of hazardous chemicals?


In a recent investigation, Greenpeace revealed that many fashion brands are guilty of using toxic chemicals on their garments.


Children's apparels from 12 international fashion brands were tested for the presence of hazardous chemicals. The brands included fast fashion brands, such as American Apparel, C&A, Disney, GAP, H&M, Primark, and Uniqlo; sportswear brands, such as adidas, LiNing, Nike, and Puma; and the luxury brand Burberry.




All of the tested brands had at least one product containing toxic chemicals. For instance, a Burberry shirt was found to contain 780mg/kg of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) - a hormone-disrupting chemical that may cause irritation to lungs and digestive system. Hazardous chemicals such as phthalates, organotins, per/poly-fluorinated chemicals (PFCs), and antimony were also detected in several of the branded garments.


Picture these chemicals being released straight into your local water supply. The same waterways that you depend on for food, drink, or transport. This is the common practice of thousands of textile factories in Indonesia, China, and many parts of the world. 


During manufacturing process of garments, toxic chemicals are routinely discharged into the environment and public waterways are treated like private sewers. Millions of people are exposed to these hazardous substances that pose serious risks to health. Wildlife also goes unspared.


The investigation is Greenpeace's effort in exposing the ugly truth that links global fashion brands, their suppliers, and toxic water pollution across the world.  Known as the Detox campaign, through it Greenpeace urges fashion brands to 'phase out the use and release of all toxic chemicals from their global supply chain and products, by 1 January 2020'.


With immense pressure from the public, Burberry has recently agreed to quit using toxic chemicals in their clothes and manufacturing process. Leading brands such as H&M, Mango, and Uniqlo have followed suit; however, brands such as adidas, Primark, and Disney have yet to make any adjustments to minimize their use of toxic chemicals. 


Ize Smith, Detox Campaigner at Greenpeace said: 'From budget to luxury, we have a right to demand our clothes are free from hazardous chemicals and fashion brands have a responsibility to do something about it.'


Indeed. As global consumers, we can challenge major brands and governments to act responsibly on behalf of the planet and its people. 



What You Can Do:


Choose to buy fewer new clothes and instead opt for second-hand clothes. Greenpeace suggests  're-purposing and re-using older items to create “new” pieces for our wardrobes, or taking part in clothes swaps with friends'.


Be an advocate for a toxic-free future by signing GreenPeace's Detox Fashion Manifesto


Spread the word about the pollution problems on your Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus.


Make your voice heard. Tell Primark, Disney, and adidas that you want fashion without pollution.