Ever since Greenpeace released a report on the potentially cancer-causing chemicals some cothing companies use to manufacture their garments, brands have been slowly stepping up and committing to change. Victoria's Secret is the latest brand to join the previous 14 (including Zara and Levi's) to commit 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 explained, "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."
The details of Limited Brands', owner of VS, can be read here. In short however, they will disclose discharge data from 80% 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.
Victoria's Secret may be one of the most important brands to make this committment because of their recognizability and popularity. Hopefully, even more prominent brands see their initiative and follow suit.