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Greenpeace Challenges Fashion Industry to Become Environmental Leaders

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 7, 2013 06:46 PM

As many high-end brands show off their latest designs at New York Fashion Week, Greenpeace has a big message for the fashion world at large: It's time to clean up your act.

The latest from Greenpeace’s global Detox campaign is its “Fashion Duel,” with Italian actress Valeria Golino leading the charge for the industry to make environmental stewardship a priority in their operations.

The "duel" sets out to rate 15 Italian and French high-end luxury brands on three areas of the global supply chain — leather, pulp and paper and toxic water pollution — and highlights their differences in policy on toxic water pollution and deforestation.

Valentino topped the ranking for its openness, while many brands — including Alberta Ferretti, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermès, Prada and Trussardi — shared the bottom tier for failing to provide any information regarding any actions on these issues.

Criteria includes the transparency of supply chains and a willingness to make binding commitments to make products free of hazardous chemicals and damage to the rainforest.

“Brands at the bottom of the rank... are global fashion trendsetters, but they also now have an opportunity to become environmental leaders,” said Chiara Campione of Greenpeace Italy. “They must take urgent and transparent action to eliminate the release of hazardous chemicals throughout their supply chain and products and put in place concrete measures to avoid contamination of their supply chain from forest destruction." 

Valentino, for instance, has committed to eliminating all releases of hazardous chemicals and to Zero Deforestation in its products. 

“Since the launch of Greenpeace’s Detox campaign in 2011, 15 major fashion brands have already committed to eliminating all releases of hazardous chemicals along their supply chain and products,” said Campione. “If these major companies, and today Valentino, have taken the step, why should we expect less from all luxury fashion brands?”

Greenpeace’s efforts have already corralled green commitments from Nike, Adidas, Puma, H&M, M&S, C&A, Li-Ning, Zara, Mango and Esprit and Levi's.  

“We’re not your grandfather’s Greenpeace anymore," Toxics Campaigner John Deans told brandchannel in a December interview. "We’re part of a new, building movement with a new set of people who are social media denizens. Brands see it’s not going away, and that Greenpeace is communicating directly with their customers.”

Here's the video featuring Golino, which, as a NSFW caution, includes partial nudity:

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