Greenpeace Detox Campaign 8 years later
Saturday afternoon, window shopping.
Store after store, collection by collection, hundreds of thousands of garments are displayed in attractive windows, setting trends and seeding the desire of going inside to buy the ultimate must-have of the season.
Colors, textures, patterns, fast fashion spoiled us renewing our wardrobe at least twice a year, always having something new to wear and ending up having nothing to wear.
Notwithstanding, what we see inside the windows is just the final product of a longer manufacturing and production chain.
How the washing of your coolest jeans has been made? How your favorite cashmere sweater has been colored? Which is the environmental price behind fashion, along with the unprecedented quantity of garments produced every year?
In 2011, Greenpeace started unveiling the mask behind which all of the fashion companies were hiding.
Analyzing the residue coming out from the drains close to some textile suppliers in China, they discovered that those factories were discharging a tremendous quantity of hazardous chemicals right into waterways.
In July of the same year, Greenpeace challenged the fashion industry to take its responsibilities and act to cut their emission by 2020, not with false promises, but through real bans and regulation inside their production system.
At the base of their objection, there is the call to extended producer responsibilities and urge the international brands to control and comply to rules and regulation that protect the environment.
Greenpeace introduced a blacklist of the most dangerous chemicals, inviting fashion brands to withdraw those ingredients and to extend the practice to their suppliers too.
In order to make this statement even stronger, Greenpeace suggested publishing the list of suppliers to enhance the echo of the commitment.
Furthermore, Greenpeace keeps taking record, analyzing continuously samples to control if changes are really happening or if they are just on paper.
Later on, Greenpeace extended the campaign to sportswear and outdoor fashion brands where PFCs (polyfluorinated chemicals), the chemical to used to create waterproof and water-repellent garments, is still largely used.
These chemicals cause permanent and consistent damages to the environment and wildlife.
This 2019, it’s the last chance for the fashion industry to show their commitment not just to their monthly revenues, but also to planet. Many international brands endorsed the challenge, and something is really moving, although it is estimated that only 15% of the global fashion brands are actually doing something, while the 85% of the textile suppliers aren't acknowledging the problem yet.
The first instinct is to blame those countries where the products are made, but let's face the reality...Western fashion companies moved their production in developing countries like China, Vietnam, India, and Bangladesh in the first place, due to their lack of laws in term of chemicals bannings and environmental protection.
And it is not just about protect our planet from potential destruction, it concerns also the health and the social condition of manufacturing workers. It isn’t a funny conversation, but the big international brands should start taking their responsabilities.
The truth is that we are all paying the price, there are no first and second world countries when it comes to Mother Nature. We are all part of the same planet, sharing the same water and oxygen. And if the flapping of the wings of a butterfly can influence the weather on the other side of the world, there is no need of a great imagination to know what humans can actually do.
What can we do as consumers? The possibilities are countless that we could open an extra chapter. However, to mention a few, we can start with being conscious consumers. Firstly, stop purchasing brand-new clothes and start swapping and buying second-hand, the market is overloaded with clothes. Secondly, we can research brands that are doing truly something for the environment and have a sustainable production process.
What do you think about this Detox campaign? Do you think that fashion activism could actually lead to real changes?
Share with us your favorite sustainable brand or your favorite second-hand store in Shanghai!
To learn more about this campaign, the brands involved and the updates result, check