Ever since Greenpeace freaked all of us out with its Toxic Threads report on the hazardous, potentially cancer-causing chemicals clothing companies use to manufacture many of their products, guilty apparel brands have been slowly but surely stepping up and committing to transforming their manufacturing processes. So far, 14 brands have made detox committments including Zara and Levi’s, and now Victoria’s Secret, found to be one of the worst offenders, has committed to going toxic-free.
Greenpeace classified Victoria’s Secret as a “Detox villain,” meaning the company had “little or no policy or program for chemicals management, and no commitment to zero discharges.” Specifically, hormone-disrupting phthalates were found in underwear purchased from the retailer in the United States. A rep from Greenpeace tells us, “It’s not clear (or provable) that these chemicals harm the US consumer who wears the clothing, but it is clear the the release of chemicals into the environment at the point of manufacture has a harmful effect on nearby communities.”
In line with its committment, the details of which you can read here, Limited Brands, owner of VS, will disclose discharge data from 80 percent of its entire global supply chain by the end of 2013.
“Limited Brands considers clean water as a critical global issue, and is proud to join Greenpeace in its campaign to eliminate hazardous chemical use,” said Sam Fried, Executive Vice President for Law, Policy & Governance at Limited Brands.
VS may be one of the most important brands to make this committment. According to WWD, the panty purveyor is the most recognized apparel brand in the U.S.–a position it would probably like to hold onto, and one that signifies influence and power. Meaning, hopefully, even more prominent brands will follow suit.