Signing up to Greenpeace’s global detox campaign, which is calling on brands to phase-out toxic chemicals from their supply chains, Primark follows major retailer Burberry, who announced the same commitment two weeks ago.

Both announcements follow the release of Greenpeace’s latest report revealing the presence of hazardous chemicals in children’s clothes made by 12 major brands.

Putting out a statement on its website today, Primark said: “We have a stringent chemical management policy in place which complies fully with EU legislation. This policy is supported by a programme of due diligence and scrutiny to ensure our products comply at all times with these legal requirements.

“However, Primark has long recognised the importance of continuing to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing processes, and has today announced its commitment to work with industry and stakeholders including Greenpeace to ban the use of all hazardous chemicals from the supply chain,” it continued.

As part of its commitment, Primark has agreed to eliminate all hazardous chemicals in all its products and across its production processes by 2020.

Primark will also ensure supply chain transparency by requiring manufacturing facilities to upload data on hazardous chemical discharges via a publicly accessible platform.

Greenpeace International detox campaigner Ilze Smit, said: “Primark’s commitment shows that it refuses to be left behind as toxic-free clothing becomes a fashion trend in the industry. From budget retailers like Primark, to luxury houses like Burberry, brands are helping put an end to this toxic nightmare”.

“This commitment is great news for Primark’s customers, its workers and the local communities affected by toxic-water pollution. It is now up to Primark to ensure these promises are translated into concrete actions so children everywhere can grow up in the toxic-free future they deserve,” added Smit.

Leigh Stringer

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