The Global Clothing Companies' Report Card

We've talked much about global companies jumping on the detox bandwagon and pledging to remove toxins from their clothing. However, which of these companies are actually making progress and fulfilling their obligations? And which companies have simply refused to make the pledge?

Greenpeace has established an internet project called "The Detox Catwalk", who's purpose is to keep track of global apparel companies and rank them for their efforts to remove toxins from clothing. The ranks are separated into three categories: leaders, greenwashers and laggards. The leaders are the companies that are making progress on their obligations. Included among these are Levi's, Mango, Espirit, H&M and a few others. And the standard used by Greenpeace is also separated into three categories: prevention, transparency, and elimination. Is the company taking steps to prevent future use of toxins? Is the company being open and honest about the chemicals they're using? And is the company making progress on eliminating toxic chemicals currently in their clothing? The leaders satisfy these standards above all others.

However, among the companies pledging to eliminate toxins there are a few which are stalling and not meeting their commitments. The three principle ones are Adidas, Nike and Li Ning. All three of these companies took Greenpeace's detox pledge and all three are refusing to follow through.

And then there are those companies refusing to take any action when it comes to toxins. Including among this group are Gap Inc., Only the Brave, Giorgio Armani, and Bestseller among others (there's a more complete list of these companies in the links below).

Many of the companies in the "leaders" category required much public pressure in the form of protests as well as hashtag activism and other social media work. Similar actions may be necessary to get the rest of these companies to move forward on detoxing. Or it may come to the point where the market will decide the paths these companies take, in which case it is up to us to make sure the companies making detox efforts are the ones being rewarded.