Levi’s bows to global people power: bans toxic fashion

Press release - 13 December, 2012
Amsterdam, December 13, 2012 – The world’s largest denim brand, Levi’s, today committed to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals throughout its entire supply chain and products by 2020, following public pressure in response to Greenpeace’s global Detox campaign.

“Now more than ever, we are seeing brands such as Levi’s listen to the groundswell of support for toxic-free fashion. It’s about time other brands such as Calvin Klein, Gap and Victoria’s Secret finally cotton on and end their toxic addiction. We’ll continue to expose brands until the use - and abuse - of hazardous substances is totally eliminated,” said Marietta Harjono, Toxics Campaigner at Greenpeace International.

As part of its commitment, Levi’s will begin requiring 15 of its largest suppliers (each with multiple facilities) in China, Mexico and elsewhere in the Global South to disclose pollution data as early as the end of June 2013. This will be followed up with a further 25 major suppliers by the end of 2013, meaning those living near all these facilities gain crucial access to information about discharges into their local environment.

Levi’s commitment comes just eight days after Greenpeace launched its report “Toxic Threads: Under Wraps” in Mexico City on 5th December. Since then, over 210,000 people joined the campaign calling on Levi’s to Detox, with tens of thousands taking action on Facebook and Twitter, and over 700 people protesting and placing street art outside Levi’s shop fronts in over 80 cities worldwide.

“Levi’s today becomes a global Detox leader after they promised to use alternatives to hazardous chemicals - a milestone in the way clothes are manufactured and a victory for people in Mexico and elsewhere affected daily by toxic water pollution,” said Pierre Terras, Toxics Campaign Coordinator at Greenpeace Mexico.

Levi’s becomes the eleventh brand to make a credible commitment to eliminate releases of all hazardous chemicals throughout its supply chains and products since Greenpeace launched its Detox campaign in 2011. A key part of the commitment is Levi’s elimination of all PFCs by the end of 2015, and a promise to lead on the adoption of PFC-free alternatives and non-hazardous chemicals by 2015.

Greenpeace’s Detox campaign demands fashion brands commit to zero discharge of all hazardous chemicals by 2020 and require their suppliers to disclose all releases of toxic chemicals from their facilities to communities at the site of the water pollution.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Tristan Tremschnig, Media Relations Specialist, Greenpeace International, email: , phone: +31 6 43 78 7393

Notes:

1) Link to Levi’s Zero Discharge Commitment: http://levistrauss.com/sites/levistrauss.com/files/librarydocument/2012/12/levi-strauss-greenpeace-detox-solution-commitment-12-dec-2012.pdf
2) Released 5 December, Greenpeace International’s investigatory report, “Toxic Threads: Under Wraps” exposes dumping of industrial wastewater containing toxic and hazardous chemicals from two of Mexico’s biggest textile manufacturing facilities with links to brands including Levi’s. Little transparency and weak laws allow these facilities to avoid scrutiny of their manufacturing processes and documents some of the worst water pollution Greenpeace has investigated in Mexico. View report here: www.greenpeace.org/international/under-wraps

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