Benetton unites with Greenpeace to detox supply chain

Benetton unites with Greenpeace to detox supply chain

Chemicals - CC license by Flickr user Horia Varlan

United Colors of Benetton has become the latest high-profile fashion brand to promise to detox its supply chain, agreeing to kick off the process this year by reporting on the release of hazardous chemicals.

Benetton Group, which also owns Sisley and Playlife, announced last week it would eliminate releases of hazardous chemicals throughout its entire global supply chain by 2020.

The Italian fashion house will join Greenpeace's Detox Program, which already includes a list of high street brands such as Nike, Adidas, H&M and Zara.

Greenpeace has been campaigning for clothes retailers to detox their supply chains since a report in 2011 found Chinese textile factories were discharging hazardous and persistent chemicals that contain hormone-disrupting properties.

"The 2020 goal demands the collective action of industry, as well as engagement of regulators and other stakeholders," the group said in a statement.

Next page:  First steps

"To this end, Benetton Group will work with other companies in the apparel sector and other brands we sell, as well as material suppliers, the broader chemical industry, NGOs and other stakeholders to achieve this goal."

Benetton now plans to publish a restricted substance list by April, followed by reports that will disclose discharges of hazardous chemicals from all of its 30 supply chain facilities.

The company has also committed to eliminating toxic alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEO) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs) from its global supply chain.

Chiara Campione, Greenpeace campaigner, said 13 brands have now joined the detox group and urged other companies to sign up.

"Some of its competitors in the fashion industry -- including Calvin Klein, GAP and G-Star Raw -- are looking increasingly out of touch now that 13 of the world's top high street fashion brands have committed to cleaning up their act," she wrote in a blog post.

This article first appeared on BusinessGreen and is reprinted with permission. 

Photo of sealed vials provided by anaken2012 via Shutterstock.