corporate citizenship

Greenpeace Claims Success as Zara Bows to Detox Campaign

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 29, 2012 10:56 AM

Greenpeace is doing battle against the fashion world. In the past week, it organized more than 700 volunteers in more than 80 cities in 20 countries to dress up like mannequins and stage “walkouts” of Zara stores as a protest against the company for using any hazardous chemicals in its supply chain.

The “Detox Zara” campaign has spread to include all of fashion; the eco-campaigner's latest video, above, is a manga style trailer called "Detox Fashion" (tagline: "Toxic is so last season.")

The campaign has worked, according to Greenpeace's Tristan Tremschnig: "Zara — the world’s largest retailer — has now committed to clean up their supply chain and Detox following 9 days of intensive pressure from people around the world. This included over 320,000 people joining the campaign online, over 44,000 mentions of Zara and the Detox campaign on Twitter alone, and a reach of over 7.1 million people across Twitter and Weibo. Not forgetting our activities on Facebook, Pinterest and outside the brand’s stores."

The “Detox Fashion” trailer was created as a collaboration between Greenpeace and Free Range studios, which has put out such agitprop videos as “The Story of Stuff” and “The Meatrix.” The idea was to show a “hero’s journey” in which the protagonist takes on a difficult challenge, thus inspiring others to take their own stands, according to a company release.

With Zara is now on board — and so rattled that the brand tweeted the link to owner Inditex's sustainability policy seven times in a row — Greenpeace is still lobbying other brands whose products have made the organization's Toxic Threads blacklist, including Benetton, C&A, Calvin Klein, Diesel, Emporio Armani, Esprit, Gap, Levi's, Mango, Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria's Secret, and China's Meters/bonwe apparel brand.

“They say you can tell what next season's hottest trend will be by looking at the color of the rivers in China and Mexico due to the dyes and hazardous chemicals used by the fashion industry,” said Greenpeace Strategic Communications Manager Tommy Crawford. “This needs to change, and as more and more people around the world demand fashion without pollution, big brands had better listen or risk losing their customers.

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