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 →
Every time I meet someone and let them know that I work for Greenpeace they usually picture me with a helmet on my head, hanging from a rope or under the pressure of a water hydrant in the middle of the ocean. And every time I arrange a meeting with a top executive from some company to deliver them our demands there is often a look of surprise on their faces when I show up in a suit, minus the helmet and climbing rope. 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 →
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 →
Another fashion brand is detoxing. Japan’s leading international casual wear brand, Uniqlo, begins the new year with a public commitment to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals throughout its entire global supply chain and products by 2020.
This comes just a month after Zara, Mango, Esprit and Levi’s announced similar individual commitments, responding to waves of pressure from activists and consumers around the world.
Competitors in the fashion world including GAP, G-Star Raw and Calvin Klein are looking increasingly out of touch now that 12 of the world’s top high street fashion brands have committed to Detox. Do these brands not know that transparent production practices and toxic-free fashion are hot in 2013, or do they simply not care? Continue reading →
The past few weeks have been slightly guilt inducing at Greenpeace for those of us who consider ourselves fashionistas. And since we launched our report “Toxic Threads” I’ve found it a little harder to slip into my jeans. It used to be that the random facts I knew about denim and jeans were their etymology (Pop quiz! What are the two Mediterranean cities that “denim” and “jeans” get their names from? Put the answer in comments!) but now I’ve learned some new facts about the hazardous chemicals which have been found in Levi’s clothes, and the toxic pollution these chemicals are causing in the environment. It’s an ugly story. Continue reading →
The November 2012 Photo of the Month by Thitima Bunhumasuta shows two women posing in a blue boat at the edge of a waste water pond across from a factory with smoking chimneys. They hold shopping bags bearing the messages ‘Fashion Without Pollution” and “Stop Our Water from Becoming a Fashion Victim.”
In Greenpeace International’s latest report, “Toxic Threads: Under Wraps”, we show the results of water samples that were taken at discharge pipes used by two manufacturing facilities supplying Levi’s: Lavamex and Kaltex. Both facilities were found to be discharging a cocktail of hazardous chemicals. One of the facilities was also found to be discharging nonylphenol, a chemical used in textile manufacturing that has already been banned in many countries. This chemical is very persistent and remains toxic even as it works its way through the food chain. It is able to act as a hormone disrupter, accumulate in the tissue of fish and has recently been detected in human tissue. Continue reading →