The Detox Catwalk 2016

Who’s on the path to toxic-free fashion?

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This is the third edition of the Detox Catwalk, which assesses the steps taken by fashion brands to fulfil their commitments. This year the focus is on implementation; brands are evaluated from the point of view of their Detox 2020 deadline to eliminate hazardous chemicals, thinking backwards to assess if they have the necessary tools to be fit for 2020.

For decades, industrial companies have chosen to use the environment and in particular our waterways as a dumping ground for hazardous chemicals, unhindered by ineffective government regulations. For local communities living near manufacturing facilities water pollution has become a daily reality. Regulations have not always prevented the release of toxic chemicals into the environment, particularly in the Global South, because for persistent, hazardous chemicals, there is no ‘safe’ level.

Greenpeace launched its “Detox My Fashion” campaign in July 2011 to address this problem, asking the textile industry to urgently take responsibility for its contribution to toxic pollution.

Hazardous chemicals are commonly used for the manufacture of clothes by many well-known brands.

The campaign has secured global Detox commitments from 76 international brands, retailers and suppliers and has had political impacts, triggering policy changes in the Europe and Asia. Fashion brands, in particular, can play an important role in transforming the sector because of the influence they have on suppliers and trends. This is already happening in Italy, where a collaboration which began in the Prato region now has 42 companies working together to Detox.

While we still need to work on Detoxing the textile industry - our addiction to fast fashion and the increasing rate that clothes are made, bought, used and thrown away is amplifying the environmental and human impacts of fashion. In future Greenpeace will be pushing for more profound changes on moving towards “closing and slowing the loop”.

---- Detox 2020 plan - a system for eliminating hazardous chemicals that is proactive and precautionary.

---- PFC elimination - substituting hazardous PFCs with safer alternatives.

---- Transparency - disclosing information on suppliers and the hazardous chemicals they discharge.


The 2016 Detox Catwalk finds that a few companies are ahead of the curve and on track to meet their commitments – these three are AVANT-GARDE. The majority – twelve ‐ of the Detox committed brands are still in EVOLUTION MODE ‐ and need to improve their performance in at least two of the three key assessment criteria. Finally, four brands are taking a FAUX PAS ‐ by not yet accepting individual responsibility for their hazardous chemical pollution and implementing the urgent steps needed to achieve the goal of eliminating hazardous chemicals by 2020.

Avant-GARDE

Detox committed companies that are ahead of the field, leading the industry towards a toxic-free future with credible timelines, concrete actions and on-the-ground implementation.

EVOLUTION MODE

These companies are committed to Detox and have made progress implementing their plans, but their actions need to evolve faster to achieve the 2020 Detox goal.

Faux Pas

Companies which originally made a Detox commitment but are currently heading in the wrong direction, failing to take individual responsibility for their supply chain´s hazardous chemical pollution.

Toxic Addicts

There are still many uncommitted toxic addicts that have failed to take responsibility for their toxic trail and have yet to make a credible, individual Detox commitment. This is despite the fact that some of their products have been identified as polluting in investigations that Greenpeace has undertaken since October 2013. Sadly, while the sector is moving to Detox, Armani, Bestseller, Diesel, D&G, GAP, Hermes, LVMH Group/Christian Dior Couture, Metersbonwe, PVH, VAncl and Versace continue to avoid tackling the problem with the seriousness it deserves.


Inditex
Inditex, the company behind the fashion brand Zara, is transforming the way that it manages hazardous chemicals and achieves AVANT-GARDE status by fully delivering on all three of the criteria.

Its approach to transparency is exemplary: it has ensured that its suppliers publish their data on the discharge of hazardous chemicals in wastewater; it has published a list of its wet process suppliers; investigated the presence of hazardous chemicals across its supply chain including an analysis of trends across regions; and has a root causes programme to determine the source of hazardous chemicals when they occur.


Inditex has a comprehensive and well explained Detox 2020 plan that embeds a “clean factory approach” for the elimination and phase-out of its extensive ‘List’ of hazardous chemical groups, including their regular monitoring in wastewater before treatment.

Inditex uses its leverage with its wet processing supply chain as well as engaging with chemical suppliers, ranking factories and chemical products on performance. It has delivered on its commitment on PFC elimination within its timeline which is documented in case studies. It still needs to use broader hazard-based criteria to assess the suitability of alternatives on PFCs, for example, and ensure that its screening methodology for selecting new hazardous chemicals aligns with best practice to cover all hazard endpoints.

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@Inditex

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Benetton
Benetton takes a step forward by achieving AVANT-GARDE status for its performance on eliminating PFCs and for meeting all its commitments on transparency.

As well as delivering on its commitment to eliminate PFCs, Benetton has published its investigation into its products and supply chain processes and ensures that alternatives are tested against hazard criteria. Benetton continues to make good progress towards its’ longer term goal on transparency and provides information on its monitoring of wastewater discharges, publishing full details of the suppliers that were tested.

Benetton has developed a positive Detox 2020 plan to enforce its ban on hazardous chemicals through a ‘clean factory’ approach, which it applies to the suppliers’ whole factory – not just to Benetton’s own production lines. To be more rigorous Benetton needs to show that it is applying a hazard-based screening method for hazardous chemicals and ensure it is updated regularly.

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@Benetton

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H&M
H&M sets a good example and achieves AVANT-GARDE status with its clear and comprehensive approach to Detoxing its manufacturing supply chain.

It has a regularly updated Detox 2020 plan which includes hazardous chemicals beyond the initial 11 groups, that is based on a transparent hazard screening method and uses the lowest detection limits. Its programme is applied using a Clean Factory approach to enforce its targets, by ensuring that suppliers apply Detox across their whole mill, not only for the brand’s products.

H&M was the first brand to eliminate the hazardous chemicals PFCs from its products but it still needs to deliver on its commitment to publish a case study which documents this, to help expedite the elimination of PFCs by other brands and through regulation.

It continues to deliver on transparency and needs to bring its commitment up to date by aiming to increase the percentage of suppliers reporting their Detox data online to 80% of its global wet process suppliers, with the priority in China.

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@H&M

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C&A
C&A remains in EVOLUTION MODE despite its performance on transparency which is exemplary.

Although it has improved its Detox 2020 plan by setting its own wastewater testing standards for hazardous chemicals and referring to its “clean factory” approach, unfortunately it still relies on the inadequate screening methodology behind the ZDHC’s MRSL which results in fundamental flaws.

C&A successfully eliminated PFCs from its products in January 2015 and provides information to its suppliers on PFC-free alternatives to use; it still needs to publish a case study on substituting PFCs.

It performs best on transparency for providing a detailed update on the reporting of data by its suppliers online, which is broken down by region and includes future targets, as well as a wastewater testing report and a list of its main suppliers, with a commitment to include wet processors by 2017. C&A needs to maintain this momentum on transparency and keep pushing for improvements on the elimination of hazardous chemicals in its supply chain.

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@C&A

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Fast Retailing
Fast Retailing, the company behind the fashion brand Uniqlo, is still in EVOLUTION MODE and is one step away from “Avant-Garde”.

Fast Retailing takes individual responsibility for its Detox 2020 plan and has an MRSL with many progressive elements, including a hazard based screening methodology and the recognition of “no safe levels” of hazardous chemicals; it needs to adopt a “clean factory” approach which would be applied to the suppliers whole factory, not just to its own production lines and present the dates for its elimination targets and phase outs more clearly.

Fast Retailing has acknowledged it will not deliver on its target to eliminate PFCs by July of this year; it reports that 98% of its products are PFC-free and that it requires one more year to achieve 100%.

Although it has published a case study it needs to provide its customers with information on which of its products contain PFCs and which are PFC free. On transparency, Fast Retailing needs to ensure the publication of data by its suppliers on an ongoing basis. It should also publish its suppliers list, including at least its wet process suppliers.

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@UNIQLO

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G Star
G-Star is in EVOLUTION MODE, and is making steady progress.

It does best on PFCs and transparency, but it is hampered by its use of the ZDHCs MRSL for its Detox 2020 plan, although G-Star goes further with its own plans and fills in some important gaps that allow for better implementation of its elimination of hazardous chemicals. G-Star needs to create its own MRSL which proactively uses a hazard based screening methodology and implements a “clean factory” approach which would be applied to the suppliers whole factory, not just to its own production lines.

It achieved the elimination of its use of PFCs in 2015, although it still needs to include a hazard assessment of the alternatives being used. On transparency, it plans to ensure the publication of new Detox data from its suppliers towards the end of 2016. It should ensure that it provides an up to date discharge analysis report at that time, as well as publish details of its Tier 2 suppliers, including wet processors.

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@GStarRAW

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Mango
Mango remains in EVOLUTION MODE - just missing out on Avant-Garde status

Mango’s Detox 2020 plan includes its own individual MRSL, which is updated regularly and implements the fact that there are “no safe levels” of hazardous chemicals. It also has a “clean factory” approach which it applies to a supplier’s whole factory, not just to its own production line. It needs to explain in more detail how it uses its screening methodology for selecting additional hazardous chemicals as well as fill some gaps in the new chemicals it has selected. Mango was among the first companies to eliminate the use of PFCs in line with its commitment; none of its products contain PFCs. It has committed to publish a case study documenting the process.

On transparency, Mango met its original deadline to publish data on the discharge of hazardous chemicals on the global online database IPE; it has since expanded the number of suppliers that report data but does not indicate where these are and what percentage of its supply chain is covered. It needs to publish its suppliers list including at least tier 2 wet processors.

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@Mango

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Miroglio
Despite making good progress, Miroglio is classified as still in EVOLUTION MODE.

It has a comprehensive list of chemicals but needs to take a more rigorous approach with its Detox 2020 plan, in particular ensuring that its communication with its suppliers on hazardous chemicals to eliminate is clear and including a “clean factory” approach to make sure that suppliers apply Detox across their whole mill, not only for the brand’s products.

Miroglio states that it has achieved the elimination of PFCs in its products, in line with its commitment, but it is less clear if this has been achieved in its manufacturing supply chain.
It needs to share the results of waste water testing on PFCs to clarify what still needs to be addressed. On transparency Miroglio reports that 80% of its global supply chain is reporting its Detox data but it should also make transparent the number of facilities that are publishing their Detox data regularly and continuously, especially in China. It also needs to publish a suppliers list which includes its wet processing facilities.

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@MiroglioGroup

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Valentino
Valentino is transparent in its reporting and makes good progress, but remains in EVOLUTION MODE as a result of missing some key elements.

This is partly due to the incomplete communication of its priorities to its suppliers in its Detox 2020 plan - while it has banned the use of all PFCs, some important examples (fluorinated telomers) are not included in its list for manufacturers, even though they are restricted in products. Valentino has eliminated the use of all PFCs. It also openly reports that some PFCs remain a problem and provides complete information about its investigation, which is exemplary. Greenpeace recognises this effort of transparency, which we would expect from any brand facing the same problems of enforcement.

However, a more thorough “clean factory” approach would help Valentino secure its PFCs ban, by ensuring that suppliers apply Detox across their whole mill, not only for the brand’s products. To improve on transparency, it must ensure ongoing and regular updates of suppliers Detox data, with an increase in the percentage that are reporting; it should also publish its suppliers list including its wet processing facilities.

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@Valentino

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Adidas
Overall adidas is still in EVOLUTION MODE - it is held back by its use of the ZDHC chemicals list and needs to take a more ambitious and individual approach to make faster progress.

adidas’s Detox 2020 plan has some positive elements, such as its reference to a ‘clean factory’ approach, its proactive chemicals management and its suppliers engagement tools, but it is undermined by the fundamentally flawed ZDHC MRSL. Its progress would be much faster if adidas developed its own individual MRSL to implement its “clean factory” approach. adidas is on track to meet its goal on the elimination of PFCs by 2017 but given the fast pace of innovation on alternatives, it should accelerate its complete phase out of these hazardous chemicals. It should also provide information to its customers on PFC and PFC-free products.

adidas performs best on transparency, where it has ensured that 50% of its global wet process suppliers have disclosed Detox data on the IPE platform, increasing to 80% by September 2016; it needs to maintain this momentum as well as publish reports that analyse discharge trends and identify the root causes of contamination.

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@adidas

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Burberry
Burberry is in EVOLUTION MODE, unable to move beyond this category while it remains tied to the ZDHC chemicals list to implement its Detox 2020 plan.

It has recently achieved its target to eliminate all PFCs and needs to publish a case study documenting this process as well as show transparent hazard assessment of the alternatives. On transparency it reports that over 80% of its global wet processing suppliers have published their data on hazardous chemicals and it documents its facility level testing on its own website. It now needs to ensure its suppliers continue to report their Detox data, provide a more detailed breakdown and to publish a list of its suppliers, which needs to include its major wet processing suppliers.

For its Detox 2020 plan Burberry describes its “clean factory” approach, which needs to be communicated to its supply chain and implemented in its MRSL by adding wastewater limits. Although Burberry has added all PFCs, its use of the ZDHC’s MRSL with its fundamental flaws is insufficient to achieve its Detox Commitment.

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@Burberry

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Levis
LS & Co has taken some positive steps but not enough to move out of EVOLUTION MODE, because it is not fully implementing its Detox Commitment through its own chemicals management programme.

LS & Co has not updated or expanded its own MRSL to include its ban on ALL PFCs for its Detox 2020 plan to be effectively communicated to its suppliers, relying instead on the flawed ZDHC MRSL. It is developing a hazard screening methodology to select chemicals for future action which should be more transparent.

LS & Co reports on the elimination of PFCs by 2016 in line with its commitment and it has published a case study which includes a hazard assessment of the substitute being used, though it should be encouraged to continue researching substitutes for PFCs as this assessment shows its preferred alternative is not ideal.

It also performs well on transparency by ensuring that the majority of its wet process suppliers report their hazardous chemical discharge data and publishing an analysis of trends. However, LS & Co needs re-focus on its suppliers in China as no Detox data from them has been disclosed for the last two years.

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@Levis

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Primark
Primark remains stuck in EVOLUTION MODE; although it performs well on PFCs and transparency, it fails to take individual responsibility for the main tools it needs for its Detox 2020 plan, relying instead on the ZDHC’s flawed methodology.

Primark's dependency on the ZDHC means it is not selecting new target chemicals for elimination or ensuring that when it tests for their elimination it is as close as possible to ‘zero’ - recognising that there is no ‘safe level’ for hazardous and persistent chemicals. It performs best on the elimination of hazardous PFCs within its deadline which it has documented in a case study.

To ensure contamination does not remain in its supply chain Primark needs to adopt a “clean factory” approach which is applied to the suppliers’ whole factory – not just to Primark’s own production lines.

On transparency, Primark has ensured the reporting of its suppliers discharges of hazardous chemicals although this needs to be broken down by region and the root causes of chemical contamination need to be identified.

Primark has shown that it is more than capable of working with its suppliers to deliver results; now it needs to be more proactive in designing its own system so that its Detox 2020 plan can be achieved.

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@Primark

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Puma
Puma is in EVOLUTION MODE mainly because of its dependency on the ZDHC’s methods, though it performs well on the other categories.

This means that Puma’s Detox 2020 plan is not hazard-based, not transparent, is lacking wastewater testing detection limits and some key hazardous chemical groups. Despite this, Puma’s plan has some positive elements such as its engagement with suppliers. Puma needs to set its own individual MRSL which implements a “clean factory” approach which would be applied to the suppliers whole factory, not just to its own production lines.

Puma performs best on transparency by publishing an exemplary suppliers list as well as full details about its suppliers reporting on their Detox wastewater discharges on its website, with links to the online data.

Puma is still working on substituting the remaining PFCs in its products to meet its commitment to eliminate them by 2017; PFC-free clothing will be launched in its Autumn/Winter 2016 collections. It still needs to publish a case study about its substitution of long-chain PFCs with PFC-free alternatives and ensure that these are transparently assessed for their hazards.

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@Puma

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M&S
M&S is firmly stuck in EVOLUTION MODE with only average performance on all of the categories.

It performs worst on its Detox 2020 plan where despite some positive elements such as a ‘clean factory’ approach, the mandatory disclosure of chemical inventories and its work with suppliers on implementation, M&S’s efforts are hampered by its use of the ZDHC’s MRSL with its fundamental flaws. M&S at least recognises that the use of best available detection limits is necessary, in support of the fact that there are no safe levels of hazardous chemicals. It performs best on transparency where it has ensured the disclosure of data representing 39% of its wet process facilities, publishes an interactive online list of suppliers and is monitoring for hazardous chemicals at various stages of the manufacturing process, although more analysis of trends needs to be done. M&S is on target to achieve its objective of eliminating the use of PFCs in its products in July 2016, although M&S is not directly labelling existing stock made with PFC finishes that will still be sold.

M&S needs to take more individual responsibility for its Detox programme by developing its own list of hazardous substances and fully implementing the requirement for “no safe levels” of hazardous chemicals. A commitment to publish a case study on the process of eliminating PFCs is also needed; this should show how alternatives undergo a hazard screening methodology and discuss the functionality of the substitutes. It also needs to expand its suppliers list to include at least wet processes.

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@MarksAndSpencer

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Esprit
Esprit finds itself in the FAUX PAS category, mainly because it has backtracked on its commitment to publish data on hazardous chemicals discharges to wastewater.

It is no longer ensuring that its suppliers publish their Detox data, part of its commitment to transparency, and instead is focussing on chemical inputs. Although this is also necessary, by deciding to de-prioritise wastewater testing it is missing a vital safety net for checking all sources of hazardous chemicals in a facility, which then need to be tracked back to find the actual source. It is also shirking its responsibility to the public and its customers for transparent disclosure of its discharges of hazardous chemicals.

Esprit’s Detox 2020 plan to implement its Detox Commitment is highly dependent on the ZDHC MRSL which has fundamental flaws. It should instead take individual responsibility by creating its own MRSL and implementing a “clean factory” approach, including wastewater testing as an important tool, which is applied to the suppliers’ whole factory – not just to it’s own production. The only positive is Esprit’s elimination of PFCs in 2014 which it needs to document in a case study.

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Esprit

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Limited Brands
Limited Brands - the name behind lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret - falls into the FAUX PAS category.

It has failed to provide a positive confirmation that it has eliminated all PFCs, in line with its commitment that these should no longer be used in its manufacturing by July 2015. Limited Brands also relies on the flawed ZDHC chemicals list to implement its Detox 2020 plan and as result it is failing to match up to its 2020 Detox Commitment. Its best efforts are made on transparency, for ensuring that its suppliers publically report their discharges of hazardous chemicals and providing a discharges analysis report, although it needs to be more rigorous in testing wastewater BEFORE it is treated.

It’s time for Limited Brands to take individual responsibility for Detoxing its supply chain as well as looking beyond its own products by adopting a “clean factory” approach, which requires their suppliers to apply Detox across their whole mill, not only for the brand’s products.

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@VictoriasSecret

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Li-Ning
Li-Ning is stuck in the FAUX PAS category for failing to improve on its approach to tackling hazardous chemicals in its supply chain, despite some efforts on transparency.

Instead of taking individual responsibility, LiNing refers to the flawed system set up by the ZDHC for implementing its Detox 2020 plan. This is full of gaps and misinterprets the required hazard screening methodology for adding new hazardous chemicals. LiNing has also not committed to eliminate all PFCs - it will only do this for 95% of its woven products only - and does not provide an update on progress. However, its performance on transparency is better - it reports that is has achieved its goal to disclose data from 80% of its suppliers on a global online platform.

LiNing needs a to make a new commitment to eliminate ALL PFCs and to improve its performance on all criteria by taking a “clean factory” approach, which requires a brand’s suppliers to apply Detox across their whole mill, not only for the brand’s products.

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@Li-Ning

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Nike
Nike takes an unfortunate FAUX PAS on its Detox Catwalk performance and is the only brand to completely fail on all three of the categories assessed.

Despite efforts made by Greenpeace to work with Nike on improving its Detox 2020 plan, Nike still does not take individual responsibility for implementing its Detox Commitment, relying instead on the inadequate ‘ZDHC’ list of chemicals which is missing most of the PFCs (one of the 11 priority groups of hazardous chemicals) and has some other gaps. On PFC elimination it has succeeded in eliminating 90% of the PFCs it uses but it still does not commit to eliminate all PFCs in all the products it makes.

Likewise, on transparency, Nike does not ensure its suppliers report their hazardous chemical discharge data and has not made a commitment to do so. Nike needs to transform its attitude to its Detox programme and take individual responsibility for its contribution to the hazardous chemical problem.

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@Nike

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