Limited Brands owner of iconic underwear labels Victorias Secret and La Senza has today bowed to public pressure and committed to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from its supply chain and products by 2020.
That makes it three brands in three weeks, in 2013, for global #peoplepower, with this news coming hot on the heels of similarly ambitious commitments from Japanese clothing giantUniqloand Italian stalwartBenetton. Limited Brands is now the 14th international retailer to commit to Detox since the campaign launch in July 2011.
Over the past weeks, activists have been out in force calling on Victorias Secret to make garments its customers and ambassadors can be proud to wear: adding their voices to the hundreds of thousands of people who have already joined the Detox campaign online.
A Greenpeaceinvestigationreleased late last year revealed the presence of a hormone-disrupting phthalate in an item of Victorias Secret underwear at levels that would have led to the product being banned in the EU had it been a toy.
Todays commitment is Limited Brands first important step to tackle this issue, and includes an explicit process to ensure the total elimination of both phthalates and perfluorinated chemicals (another hormone-disrupting chemical group of high concern) long before the 2020 deadline.
2013 will also see it release pollution data from 80% of its global supply chain, further accelerating the transparency revolution that is taking place in the sector due to the Detox campaign, and providing those people living near manufacturing facilities with information about what is being discharged into their local water supplies.
Ending a toxic addiction
Thanks to the passionate support of concerned consumers, activists and fashionistas it seems as though 2013 will finally be the year when the textile industry begins to end its addiction to toxic chemicals.
For brands like Victorias Secret, the next big step will be turning their words into actions that are as high-profile and bold as their infamous fashion shows.
For brands that have so far tried to bury their head in the sands and ignore the issue such as Calvin Klein, GAP and G Star Raw they will need to up their game, or risk losing out to more savvy competitors.
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