Zara, the world’s largest clothing retailer, today announced a commitment to go toxic-free following nine days of intense public pressure. This win belongs to the fashion-lovers, activists, bloggers and denizens of social media. This is people power in action.
Greenpeace campaigners began a dialogue with Zara (a brand within the Inditex group) in 2011 about eliminating releases of hazardous chemicals from its supply chain and clothes. But it wasn't until this week that the fast-fashion giant caught on to the urgent need to solve its toxic pollution problem.
Zara has now committed to eliminate all discharge of hazardous chemicals from its supply chain and products by 2020. And they're going to get rid of some of the worst chemicals, such as PFCs, even sooner. As a significant user of PFCs, Zara's commitment to eliminate this chemical group by the end of 2015 is a breakthrough.
The Detox commitment announced today covers Zara and the seven other brands in the Inditex group: Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home and Uterqüe.
The commitment is good news for the environment, but also a breakthrough for the public's right to know what is being released into our waterways. Zara says that by the end of 2013 at least 100 of its suppliers in the Global South (including at least 40 in China) will publicly disclose data about their releases of hazardous chemicals into the environment. The open data will be chemical-by-chemical, facility-by-facility and at least year-by-year.