Most popular clothing brands use hazardous chemicals in their items’ production. This is a problem for people living near the factories, for the customers who buy them and for the rest of the world, because the pollution created by these brands affects the entire world.
For example, most outdoors clothing brands do use PFCs and PFOA – a long-chain PFC that is linked to a number of health effects, including cancer – like The North Face and Mammut. Paradoxically, these brands don’t care about the environment when they depend on it. In China, 70% of water is polluted because the filtering systems aren’t useful for some chemicals.
Since 2011 the Detox campaign has challenged some of the world's most popular clothing brands to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals. Thanks to the action of over half a million designers, bloggers, fashion fans and activists twenty global fashion leaders, from Adidas to Zara, have made a commitment to Detox their clothes. Some examples of this global movement have been:
- In November 2012, Zara, announced a commitment to go toxic-free after the intense public pressure.
- In February 2014, Primark became the 20th global clothing company to commit to Detox.
- In June 2014, Adidas took a big step. It announced its objective was to become toxic-free by 2020 and to give the public their Right-to-Know, being transparent by 2020.
However, many of these brands have also another secret: The most basic human rights are being violated. The conditions of the workers diminish to the slavery. The adults are exploited and the children are recruited in the most vulnerable regions, promising to his parents a worthy salary, food, and access to the education.
An activist said: “100 % of Zara's production in Asia is a child labour… To buy a child in Pakistan is very cheap and as soon as you have done it, you can do with him what you want.” Save The Children denounces that there are officially 218 million children between 5 and 17 years slaves, but the number can spread to 400 million.
Some guilty brands are Inditex (Zara, Bershka, Massimo Dutti), H&M, The cut Englishman, Gap, Levi's, Benetton, Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Converses, I pinch, Triumph, Primark and different many, which have been denounced openly by ONG's.
These brands’ productions are in countries like Bangladesh, Morocco, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkey, India, Argentina, Honduras, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and other countries where it is easier to have big productions to very low costs.
So, as in the case of hazardous chemicals, the public can also change this situation by putting under pressure these brands. What would happen if consumers began to choose the articles according to the respect towards the environment and to the workers in every link of the productive chain?
Here there are some links to see how these problems affect the world:
And here you can find some ways of helping the planet choosing your clothes in a better way: