The apparel industry is under fire for their hazardous use of chemicals during the manufacturing process. In July, 2011, Greenpeace International launched the Detox campaign “to expose the direct links between global clothing brands, their suppliers and toxic water pollution around the world.” Along with a global network of consumers, Greenpeace is urging clothing brands to clean up their practices and many companies are heeding the call.
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Several leading brands joined the Detox initiative to adopt a supply chain with a zero discharge of all hazardous chemicals. The Joint Roadmap is a community plan to help companies meet their goals by 2020, but an independent strategy is equally important. Puma, Adidas, Nike, H&M, and C&A were a few of the brands to lead the way in committing to progress. In a followup report published in November, 2012, Greenpeace called greenwash on Levi’s earlier promises. Levi responded by stepping up as a leader in supply chain sustainability and consumer safety.
Levi Takes Action
Less than a month after the release of the Detox report, Levi announced a renewed commitment to eliminating chemicals in their supply chain. According to the Levi Strauss blog, the denim giant already collaborates with other apparel manufacturers through the Joint Roadmap but will strengthen their actions through their individual action plan. Greenpeace recommends that every brand develop similar guidelines that work with their collaborative efforts. Levi Chief Supply Chain Officer, David Loves states, “We’re encouraged by the progress we’re making with the Joint Roadmap, but we also agree with Greenpeace that this must be matched by a specific individual action plan.”
Levi’s individual action plan focuses on completely eliminating perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) and reducing usage of other hazardous chemicals, as well as increased transparency throughout the manufacturing and distribution process. With continued urging from Greenpeace and the public, more clothing brands will follow this lead. [/show_to]