Greenpeace Tells Luxury Brands to Clean Out Their Hazardous Chemicals
SAN DIEGO (TheStreet) -- Greenpeace International says the children's clothing and footwear made by eight major luxury fashion brands contains hazardous chemicals that have hormone-disrupting properties.
In a report titled A Little Story about a Fashionable Lie: Hazardous Chemicals in Luxury Branded Clothing for Children, Greenpeace says such brands as Versace, Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana all use hazardous chemicals in their manufacturing process.
The international nonprofit is calling on the luxury fashion houses to detox their production process.
"The textile industry is a major polluter globally and consumers aren't very aware of that," says John Deans, a detox campaigner for Greenpeace. "When we go to the store to get a pair of jeans, or in this case Versace clothing, we don't go with the expectation that we're getting something that has this trail of toxic pollution in its wake."Greenpeace tested 27 products from eight luxury fashion brands. The brands tested include Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Trussardi and Versace. All the clothing tested was bought between May and June 2013. Independent, accredited laboratories carried out the tests.
Versace, Armani and Louis Vuitton have all responded to the Greenpeace allegations by saying their products comply with international environment and safety standards. Versace "continues to search for raw materials and eco-sustainable technology solutions, with even stricter requirements than those set out under the current laws, renewing its commitment to the sustainability of the planet," according to a company statement. The Greenpeace report says NPEs are used as surfactants and detergents in textile processing. Phthalates have various uses, including as additives in plastisol prints on clothing. Polyfluorinated chemicals are used to treat clothing and impart waterproofing or oil proofing properties. And finally, a compound of antimony (antimony trioxide) is used as a catalyst to make polyester. Deans was unable to identify the cost of switching to cleaner, nontoxic chemicals. "It varies chemical to chemical and process to process," Deans says. "In some cases these companies will probably save money, and in some cases they may have to spend more. But it's really about the companies taking leadership, pushing that innovation and finding ways to make it happen."
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