PHOTOS: Detox Worldwide Day of Action

by Laura Kenyon

November 26, 2012

Greenpeace activists dressed as mannequins perform street theater to demonstrate water pollution created by the fashion industry, in front of Zara store inside a shopping mall in the heart of Bangkok. Today, over 700 activists in over 80 cities around the world are making their voice heard through such activities to demanding that the world's largest fashion retailer, Zara, to eliminate all hazardous chemical from its clothing and supply chains. Follows to the recent Greenpeace International's investigatory report, "Toxic Threads - The Big Fashion Stitch-Up" exposed the links between textile manufacturing facilities using hazardous chemicals and the presence of chemicals in final products. Investigations found hazardous chemicals in clothing from 20 leading fashion brands, while fashion retailer Zara is alone in the study for having clothes that can give rise to both chemicals that are hormone-disrupting or cancer causing.

© Jonas Gratzer / Greenpeace

There’s a good reason even the ‘mannequins’ are walking out of Zara’s stores in protest.Zara has a toxic little secret… and it’s in the clothes. Certain clothing items have been tested in an independent labratory and been found to contain hazardous chemicals, some of which can even break down to become hormone-disrupting and cancer-causing substances when released into the environment. It’s nasty stuff.

This past Saturday was a busy shopping day, and in over 80 cities around the world shoppers were treated to ‘mannequin’ walkouts at Zara stores. In Istanbul, Zara mannequins struck a pose in the street outside the shop, instead of in their normal place in the store front – and their price tags warned shoppers of the hazardous chemicals in the fashion.

A similar scene played out in cities like Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Prague and even on one of the world’s most famous fashion streets: the Champs-lyses in Paris. In the fashion capital ‘mannequins’ in Zara’s clothes walked out into the busy Saturday crowds to demand toxic-free fashion, while in Germany ‘Detox’ symbols could be seen in the windows of Zara stores in 23 cities.

At every store the managers were asked by Greenpeace volunteers to pass on the Detox demand to their headquarters. Some managers were more willing than others, but in many cases the staff of Zara stores seem much faster at picking up on the fresh appeal of toxic-free fashion than their executives.

More than 700 Greenpeace volunteers were involved in creating this weekend’s Zara ‘mannequin’ revolt in 20 countries, and (while writing this)nearly 300,000 people have already asked Zara to Detoxand eliminate hazardous chemicals from their fashion. Now the only question is when will the world’s biggest fashion brand, which reacts so swiftly to changes in fashion trends, react to this toxic-free trend?

Activists dressed as 'revolting mannequins' on the Champs Elysees in in Paris

Activists dressed as 'revolting mannequins' in Brussels

Activists dressed as 'revolting mannequins' in Vancouver

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