Activists dressed as 'revolting mannequins' in Taipei, through street theatre demand Zara 'Detox' now. © Steven Vigar / Greenpeace
Did you know that Zara store managers report back to their headquarters every day about what's happening in their shop? Business journalists say it helps the fast-fashion retail chain react to trends, and identify opportunities with lightning speed.
Still, three days since we launched our campaign calling on Zara to go toxic-free, the company still hasn't quite caught on to Detox.
This week, activists in Hong Kong, Budapest, Geneva, Hamburg and Madrid stopped by Zara to leave a message that's sure to stand out in the store managers' report back. Here are just a few of the photos of the actions that are being shared in record numbers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and China's leading social platform, Weibo.
Activists dressed as mannequins hold banners reading: 'No More Fashion Victims' in front of one of the main Zara stores in Madrid.
Activists unfurl a banner reading in Spanish: 'Zara, Join Toxic Free Fashion' in front of one of the main Zara stores in Madrid.
Climbers hang a huge banner in front of a Zara store in Geneva reading 'Zara DETOX your fashion'
Three Greenpeace activists camouflage themselves becoming 'invisible' in a Zara shop window in central Hong Kong. © Clement Tang / Greenpeace
Climbers hang a huge photo banner in front of a Zara store in Hamburg reading 'Kennen Sie Zaras Schmutziges Geheimnis? Detox Now' (Do You Know Zaras Dirty Secret? Detox Now!).
Activists in protective clothing and masks protest outside a Zara store in central Budapest.
It all started this Tuesday at our press conference Beijing, when we released the results from our latest report that revealed that clothing items from 20 high street fashion brands contained hazardous chemicals.
This wasn't your regular press conference. It began with a toxic-fashion show, where models demonstrated how big brands like Zara are turning us all into fashion victims by forcing us to buy clothes that contribute toward toxic water pollution. This is because the brand's suppliers are using hazardous chemicals in the production process -- meaning rivers in the countries of production are being polluted. But the story doesn't end there, because rivers around the world are also polluted when these clothing items are washed and the residues of chemicals left in the clothes themselves are released.
So what can we do?
Well the first thing you can do, if you haven't already, is sign up to join the campaign. More than 250,000 people have joined so far, and we're only getting warmed up.
We've tracked thousands of tweets, Facebook messages and other web comments each day from concerned customers, activists and fashionistas calling on Zara to Detox. If you haven't joined in yet, please visit the brand's Facebook page or send them a message via twitter asking them why they don't apply their fast-fashion speed to cleaning up their supply chain.
For those more adventurous among you, you might also want to pop into a Zara store this weekend and send a personal message to their store manager. The store managers' daily report to their head office about what's happening in their shop is part of Zara's secret to success in fast-fashion, but it's also a golden opportunity for you to get your Detox message to the heads of the company.
How to do this:
- Find your nearest Zara shop (try their store locator webpage).
- Post on Twitter or Facebook when you plan to go. Maybe some friends will join in!
- Go into the shop and ask a member of staff if you can speak to the manager. If they ask what it's about, say it's about the chemicals found by Greenpeace in Zara clothes.
- If you use Facebook or Foursquare on your phone, check-in to the store and write "Detox ZARA".
- When you're speaking to the manager, ask them in your own words these two things:
1. Does Zara have clothes that are made without hazardous chemicals, or that don't cause toxic pollution?
2. Will the store manager please report your inquiry back to Zara headquarters asking when the brand will make an ambitious Detox commitment?
That's all there is to it. And when you're done, please come back here and leave a comment below about your experience!