"Detox" Striptease in Bangkok © Athit Perawongmetha / Greenpeace

In a world of toxic and cheap throwaway clothing, big retail stores have the opportunity and ability to change the way our clothes and products are made.

Aldi, one of the top ten retailers in the world, has joined the Detox movement and committed to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from their textile products by January 1st, 2020.

Aldi is growing. The supermarket giant is not only strong in its home market of Germany but is seeing sales rise in Europe. The company is also rapidly expanding in the US and Australia. This Detox announcement shows an increasing momentum towards a cleaner and more efficient model of production in the discount sector.

Among the 31 companies committed to Detox are other big retailers – such as Marks & Spencer in the UK and Coop in Switzerland – which means that it is possible to have a sustainable turnover of products, maintain profitability and keep the things you sell toxic-free.

In addition to the need to combat their toxic-trail, Greenpeace is calling on these retail leaders to consider new business models. By planning and managing resources in a responsible way, big retailers can revolutionize the design and production of goods. Toxic-free manufacturing offers the perfect starting-point to rethink how our products are made and used.

Today, Aldi took a stand and acknowledged its responsibility for the whole lifecycle of its textiles. This is a huge step forward and another victory for all of you who have been a part of the Detox campaign since we began four years ago. Looking back, it is quite incredible to see the progress that we have made together. This gives us inspiration to go even further!

Kirsten Brodde is a Detox campaigner at Greenpeace Germany.

"Detox" Striptease in Bangkok © Athit Perawongmetha / Greenpeace
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