Let me tell you a story of a polluted paradise.
We used to call it ‘Parahyangan’ or the place where the Gods and Goddesses resided. The river in Indonesia that passes through it stretches 270 km from the Wayang Mountain to the Java Sea, giving life along its course.
A critical water source
We call it the Citarum River. Ci and Tarum, “Ci” is water, and “Tarum” or indigo is a plant of the pea family that was widely cultivated over a century ago as a source of dark blue dye. It is also linked to the ‘Tarumanagara’ Kingdom, one of the country’s oldest Kingdoms, once victorious on the outskirts of the Citarum River. Today, millions of people depend on the river and surrounding area for agricultural and domestic use. Continue reading
A plant with five dyeing machines will need about 250kg of dye, along with other additives.
We live on a wet planet, and without that water we would not be able to survive. But in places like China where I live, industries such as textile facilities are pumping a nasty cocktail of toxic chemicals into our water – you only need to see the photos below to get an idea of just how critical the situation is. Continue reading
The ability of a small group of pioneers to change the world for the better should never be underestimated.
One such group of people is the team at Red Carpet Green Dress, who have been busy over the last weeks and months creating a beautiful gown for the Oscars, which was worn by “Skyfall” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” actress Naomie Harris at last night’s award ceremony.
But this wasn’t just any old dress. This was a dress with a difference.
Aside from being breathtakingly beautiful, the dress – which was created by the exciting young designer Michael Badger with the help of Vivienne Westwood and her haute couture team – was also made to have the smallest possible impact on our equally beautiful planet. The team at Red Carpet Green Dress, founded by Suzy Amis Cameron four years ago for the premiere of her husband James Cameron’s film “Avatar”, have engaged with a number of external experts and consultants including Cradle-to-Cradle and Greenpeace to try and make the dress to the highest environmental standards possible. Continue reading
Greenpeace activists post a banner on the window of the Hermes store. Greenpeace is asking supporters and consumers to challenge fashion's deforestation and toxic history.
In the midst of a rainy New York Fashion Week, four exclusive fashion brands were greeted by “clean-up crews” challenging them to adopt forest friendly and toxic free policies. Activists decorated store windows with giant images of forest destruction and toxic pollution, and the invitation to be part of the solution. The brands visited had one thing in common (besides decades of setting trends), they all ranked at the bottom of a recent Greenpeace survey of environmental policies for the world’s leading fashion houses. Continue reading
At the start of November, Greenpeace threw down the gauntlet to 15 top Italian and French luxury fashion brands, challenging these companies with 25 ‘uncomfortable’ questions about their supply chains. Continue reading
Sometimes the longest struggles can be the most rewarding.
Greenpeace launched its Detox campaign in the summer of 2011 pressuring the world’s largest fashion retailers to eliminate hazardous chemicals from their manufacturing process. These chemicals wind up in global waterways poisoning drinking water for several international populations. Giant fashion names including Levis, Zara, Victoria’s Secret, H&M and Nike have agreed to detox their products and protect these global water sources. Dutch clothing company G-Star was one of the last companies to budge.
After ten months of #PeoplePowered activities and behind-the-scenes haggling G-Star finally committed to eliminate all uses of hazardous chemicals from its supply chain and products by 2020.
This means that the Dutch denim brand joins the likes of Uniqlo, Benetton and Victoria’s Secret in making a credible Detox commitment in 2013, making it the 15th global corporation to make clear its plans to banish toxic chemicals from the fashion sector.
The announcement is all the sweeter if you consider that just weeks ago the brand was unwilling to improve upon its earlier – March 2012 – rather half-hearted “commitment”. This old offer lacked many of the elements that their new Detox commitment contains: namely, concrete dates for eliminating the worst chemicals, and a transparent process for how the brand will move from its current polluting practices toward toxic-free fashion. Continue reading
Limited Brands – owner of iconic underwear labels Victoria’s Secret and La Senza – has today bowed to public pressure and committed to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from its supply chain and products by 2020. Continue reading
It’s about time the Detox campaign officially landed on the stylish streets of one of the world’s most high profile fashion centres.
Here in Italy we are celebrating the latest Detox commitment, announced today by the Benetton Group, which owns brands such as Sisley, Playlife and most famously, the United Colors of Benetton.
It’s commitment to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals throughout its entire global supply chain and products by 2020 comes hot on the heels of similar annoucements from Zara, Mango, Esprit and Levi’s, who responded to waves of pressure from activists and consumers around the world calling for fashion without pollution. Continue reading
The December 2012 Photo of the Month by Christian Åslund turns perspective perpendicular. One of many actions in an imaginative global campaign that got Levi’s to commit to working with their suppliers to stop the release of hazardous chemicals into waterways, Danish activists staged a vertical fashion show on the side of a Levi’s store in Copenhagen.
An activist "model" walks up the side of a Levi's store
I picked the picture for the way the “model” appears close to the camera balanced and poised taking a step forward as the photographers lie flat on the ground to shoot is well balanced and the flash firing brings it all together. Continue reading