I run. I started a few years ago and I love it. I can do it almost anywhere and in almost any weather and I don't really need much: just a few sportswear items, the ones that are good for me.
Luckily I live on the edge of a small city so my run is river banks on one side and meadows on the other. The river has always been like a coach to me. Its perseverance has been whispering in my ears every time I wanted to give up and its pace has been an inspiration to find my own: regular and relentless.
Since I started working on Greenpeace's water project, the river has witnessed my morning reflection on what's happening to our waterways around the world. I couldn't help thinking about the people living along Chinese rivers watching them deteriorate due to the discharges of chemicals with obscure names and threatening properties.
But this is not just a Chinese problem, it's global. The people living in the countries where these companies swiftly move their production in search of more competitive conditions have the right to know what's happening to their waterways, what is being discharged into each of them and by which company.
This need for transparency applies also to people like me, living in Europe or in other countries where these clothing items, many of which still containing hazardous chemicals residues, are sold by the thousands every day.
Because when we wash them we are actually discharging these toxic substances in our water systems.
I took the title for this piece form Rachel Carson's Silent Spring because it reminds us that we all have to live on this planet and this gives us the right to know what individuals and companies are doing to it.
Her strong call for the right to know of the American public was her answer to the indiscriminate use of pesticides and her arguments provided the catalyst for the ban on DDT.
The problem we are facing with toxic discharges into our waterways is similar, though set in a different scenario. The call for the right to know is not for the consumers of a particular country but is global as is the economy, that's why the answer can only be one that involves the whole textile sector.
A few big companies are already listening, which is great news, but we want to see concrete results in their implementation plans. We want transparency because we have the right to know, and we won't back down till we are sure that they are moving towards safe and responsible production processes and practices.
But there are still many big players ignoring our call. To bring the needed transformative change in the textile industry the fashion companies will also have to play their part. The bigger and more influential they are, the stronger the contribution to this shift that they can make.
And we won't stop demanding that they clean up their acts and commit to full transparency throughout their supply-chains, After all the right to know is the right to choose.
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