Retailer C&A and Chinese sportswear brand Li-Ning have joined Adidas, H&M, Nike and Puma in pledging to eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals throughout their supply chains.

The moves have been welcomed by environmental pressure group Greenpeace. It says the 'joint roadmap' that outlines the companies' plans includes details on the development of tools to monitor the release of hazardous chemicals, green chemistry initiatives and pilot projects for the elimination of certain chemicals.

The promise to commit to a toxic-free future follows Greenpeace's "Detox" campaign, after investigations revealed links between major fashion brands and factories that were found to be discharging a range of hazardous chemicals into rivers in China.

"Now that fashion leaders have sketched out their designs for a toxic-free future, they need to transform these into ready-to-wear collections that will bring about large-scale change in the fashion sector," said Martin Hojsik, Greenpeace detox campaign co-ordinator.

However, activists are still calling on companies to respond with more urgency to the problem of toxic water pollution, by publishing shorter and more concrete timelines for the elimination of the most hazardous chemicals.

"We're calling on all of these companies to become more transparent, and to provide clear timelines for the disclosure of pollution information, so that the public can quickly and easily monitor their progress towards zero discharges of all hazardous chemicals," said Hojsik.