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 →
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 →
Big brands are forcing consumers to buy clothes containing chemicals that cause toxic water pollution
I gave up most designer labels after my dad bombarded me with snippets from ‘No Logo’ at breakfast every day for a month. Any temptation I might have felt to shop at Abercrombie was quelled by my sister’s peculiarly effective way of reminding my younger self of the retailer’s dubious child labor practices.
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 →
I have visited more than 20 times the pipe Huntsman Corporation – one of the largest suppliers of chemical substances in the world for the textile sector – uses to discharge wastewater into the Santiago River in Jalisco, Mexico.
It has never had the same colour. Usually red, sometimes blue and once yellow, it looks like this facility is trying to dye the water as if it was playing with it.
A recent study by Greenpeace Mexico has shown that even the government admits that people living close to this water are risking their health due to water polluted with hazardous chemicals. But the Santiago River is not a private plaything for Huntsman – it is one of Mexico’s most important rivers. Continue reading →
Encouraging a fashion behemoth to change the way it produces clothing is no small task. But armed with the facts and the collective power of supporters like you, we are able to achieve the sort of success story we are announcing today.
Today, British clothing giant, Mark & Spencer, has committed to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals throughout their entire supply chain and products by 2020.
The Citarum River in West Java, Indonesia, supports agriculture, water supplies, fisheries, industry, sewerage and electricity. It’s the lifeblood of the community around it.
But like so many other waterways in Southeast Asia, the Citarum is sick. Toxic pollution from manufacturing and industry is strangling the river.
This month, across Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, Greenpeace activitsts worked with communities to highlight the powerful role they play in the future of their water – and put a stop to toxic water pollution. These communities have a right to know what is in their water, what is being pumped into it and a right to not have it contaminated by hazardous chemicals.
Through water patrols, actions on local polluters and even zombie parades in The Phillipines, communities are taking the message to authorities that toxic water pollution is not on. Continue reading →