H&M store

Swedish "fast fashion" brand H&M have recently made public their "restricted substance list", the first step in a process to make more transparent their production processes, including use of hazardous chemicals. This follows our recent Detox campaign in which Greenpeace charged some of the world's biggest clothing brands to remove hazardous chemicals from their global supply chain.

And this action is just the first of what will be many from H&M and the other brands to have signed onto the Detox commitment. Tommy from Greenpeace International recently detailed what else is planned:

As part of their Detox commitment, H&M has also promised to disclose the quantities of certain hazardous chemicals being discharged - facility by facility - in an online, searchable format by the end of 2012. This detailed disclosure – something revolutionary in the sector, particularly in countries such as China – will be vital in exposing the toxic truth about the clothes we wear, and the truth that local communities, policy makers and the brands' consumers have a right to know about.

For the brands, coming clean will help them to earn and grow the trust of their consumers, providing a transparent way to demonstrate that they are living up to their promises, making real changes on the ground and taking a true leadership position on the issue of toxic water pollution.

The lack of transparency in corporate practices is one of the biggest threats to our environment. It's like trying to fight a monster that knows how to stay hidden in the shadows. So we're trying to throw some purifying light onto their dirty work. Every day China is pumping out millions of goods used in China and by citizens around the globe - but at what cost? Unless we ensure multinationals and their supply chains are held to the most rigorous of standards, it is the Chinese environment and people who are going to pay.

So think on this next time you relish in the cheap, new T-shirt you bought. What went into making that T-shirt? And what went out?

Discharge pipe

Discharge water

Greenpeace researcher

A Greenpeace researcher tests water near the discharge pipes of the Well Dyeing Factory Limited. The results were revealed in our report "Dirty Laundry" and "Dirty Laundry 2", as well as launched a campaign demanding companies detox their global supply chains.