UPDATED: Zara, Mango, and Now Levis Commit To "Detoxing" Production

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zara-greenpeace-bigUPDATE: Levi's is now the third major producer to sign on to detoxing by 2020 — and you know how they say three's a trend. If you think about it, it's actually incredibly impressive what Greenpeace has been able to pull off in such a short time. With these three names attached to its initiative, it's not beyond reason to imagine that the directives proposed by its campaign could become industry-wide standards within a decade. Exciting stuff.

UPDATE: Greenpeace has also announced that Euro mega-retailer Mango has just signed on, as well! Per its statement, "Mango joins Zara, who committed to Detox last week, in beginning to take responsibility for their entire supply chain...This means providing local communities and customers with the information they need to ensure that local water supplies are not turned into industry sewers...It’s now time for other brands such as Levi’s, Gap, and Victoria’s Secret to listen to their customers and commit to creating fashion without hazardous chemicals." It seems the ball is indeed rolling, folks.

This isn't an end to the ongoing environmental disaster caused by the production of all the fast fashion we snap up, but it is a notable step in the right direction. According to Greenpeace, Zara, the world's largest fashion retailer and one of our personal quick-fix faves, has, "now committed to clean up their supply chain," after an intense, nine-day viral campaign waged against them. The full statement from Zara's parent company — notable for its clarity, specifics, and apparent openness to corporate transparency and accountability — sets a 2020 timetable for, "eliminating industrial releases of all hazardous chemicals." Considering Zara's production footprint (they famously turn over inventory every two months!) and the massive amount of dyes, bleaching agents, and other toxic chemicals used in the creation of, say, those slacks you're wearing, the safe disposal or actual replacement of those runoff materials will have a serious impact on the soil and water table of surrounding areas. Perhaps, more importantly, if a heavyweight like Zara takes such measures, it stands to reason that H&M, Gap, and other large producers would soon follow suit.

Now, if you're looking at that 2020 timetable and asking yourself, "what gives," remember that the measures they're talking about will necessitate revising supply chains, creating entirely new disposal procedures, finding new material with which to make the clothing, buying new machines, and, potentially, building new factories. It's a very ambitious goal Zara has set, and it will take time getting there.

Of course, it's partially up to us, through our actions, awareness, and buying habits to keep the pressure up on Zara and other brands and make sure that, whatever their promises may be, they deliver. (Brandchannel)

Photo: Courtesy of Zara.