Detox Catwalk: Greenpeace reveals most sustainable fashion brands

Greenpeace has today announced its Detox Catwalk, listing how major fashion brands rank on removing toxic chemicals from their supply chains and tackling water pollution.

As part of the four-year Detox campaign, fashion brands have had to commit tozero-discharge of all hazardous chemicals by 2020 and require their suppliers to be transparent about water pollution incidents.

The Detox Catwalk assesses how committed companies have performed against key criteria, including eliminating known hazardous chemicals from their products and moving towards full supply chain transparency.

Transparency Revolution

The list has three categories; detox leader for those who have met their detox commitments, greenwasher for those who have only made partial progress, and detox losers for those companies who have not met their targets at all.

Luxury British fashion house Burberry joined the campaign in 2014, and has thrown down the gauntlet to other luxury brands by making significant progress against its commitments, joining other recognisable UK highstreet brands such as Primark, Marks and Spencer and H&M on the list of ‘Detox Leaders’.

H&M has a strong history of corporate resonsibility, including launching a range of sustainable denim produced with less energy and water consumption than normal denim in September 2014.

Greenpeace identified sporting-giant Nike as a ‘greenwasher’, saying “the company is unwilling to embrace a transparency revolution across its global supply chain and still has not given a clear timeline to eliminate all PFCs in all its products.”

The list of detox losers is dominated by popular luxury fashion brands such as Hermes, Versace and Georgio Armani.


In the four years the Detox campaign has been running, a major shift in chemical regulations in manufacturing countries has begun, with harmful chemical groups being regulated in China and Indonesia, and phased out in Europe.

The campaign particularly addresses water pollution as China’s textile industry is responsible for 10% of the country’s industrial wastewater emission. Almost half the surface water in the country is not drinkable and 64% of underground drinking water reserves in major cities are seriously polluted.

“The fashion companies that have committed to Detox over the past four years represent approximately 10% of the global apparel and footwear market,”  said Detox campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia, Yixiu Wu.

“We believe this momentum is creating a new standard in sustainable fashion: sparking a transparency revolution and proving that zero discharge of hazardous chemicals is within our reach by 2020. It’s time greenwashers like Nike and LiNing come clean and join the wave for toxic free fashion.”

 Lucinda Dann

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