South Africans join the global call to Detox Levi's

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Feature story - December 11, 2012
Over the weekend South Africans activists joined the global call for Levi's to Detox their fashion. Over 700 activists in 81 cities around the world made their voices heard and demanded that Levi’s eliminate all hazardous chemical from its clothing and supply chains.

We took to streets, shopping malls and communities to demand that Levi’s, the world’s biggest jeans producer, go forth and Detox. In Johannesburg, we held a dancing flash mob at the Brightwater Commons shopping center in Randburg. 

View the flash mob photos:


50 volunteers stripped off their "toxic" clothing, before unfurling a banner that read "Detox Levi's".

"It is imperative that global fashion giants understand the need to eliminate these harmful chemicals that are later washed into our waterways; we are asking Levi's  to commit to Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals by 2020, following the lead of Zara and Mango" said Greenpeace Africa Consumer Campaigner, Dianne Mc Alpine.

Watch the flash mob:


Toxic Threads

Earlier this year, Greenpeace investigations revealed dumping of industrial wastewater containing toxic and hazardous chemicals from two of Mexico’s biggest textile manufacturing facilities. These facilities supply clothing to big fashion brands, including Levi’s.

Last Wednesday, Greenpeace International’s investigatory report, “Toxic Threads: Under Wraps” detailed how these facilities operate with little transparency and under weak laws, which allow them to avoid scrutiny of their manufacturing processes.

Just three days after launching, nearly 130,000 people have joined the campaign calling on the world’s Levi’s to be a real leader and Detox.

Our fashion shouldn't cost the earth

Around the world more and more consumers, activists and ‘fashionistas’ are uniting behind the idea that the clothes they buy should carry a story to be proud of, not the residue of hazardous chemicals.

In South Africa musicians Madala Kunene, Sazi Dlamini, Lu Dlamini, Pinkie Mtshali, Poppy Seed, Nibs Van Der Spy, Guy Buttery, Andy Small, Lee Vaughn and hip hop group 3rd Wave, joined Greenpeace Africa in asking the fashion industry to remove harmful chemicals from their supply chain, citing South Africa’s clean water resources as reason for concern.

South African celebrities join Greenpeace, asking for toxic-free fashion:


“South Africa is already dealing with an impending water shortage, we need to act with our consumer power to change the patterns of global fashion brands, who can potentially jeopardize access to clean water” concluded Mc Alpine.

Greenpeace demands fashion brands commit to zero discharge of all hazardous chemicals by 2020 - as brands including Nike and Adidas have already done - and require their suppliers to disclose all releases of toxic chemicals from their facilities to communities at the site of water pollution.

You can join the campaign to Detox Levi's here.