CHINA: Global brands hit by new claims of textile pollution
Some 48 apparel brands and retailers including H&M, Nike, Wal-Mart, Levi's, Adidas, Gap and Marks & Spencer have been accused of purchasing clothing from suppliers who illegally discharge polluted water in China.
The report, produced by Friends of Nature, the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPEA), Green Beagle, Envirofriends and Nanjing Greenstone, noted more than 6,000 environmental violations by Chinese textile enterprises.
The data, recorded in a China Water Pollution Map compiled by the IEPA found problems including secret discharge pipes, direct wastewater discharge, improper use of wastewater treatment facilities, and pollutant discharge amounts in breach of authorised standards.
China's textile industry accounts for half of the global total, while its fabric and apparel exports have a 34% share of world trade. However, the textile industry produces close to 2.5bn tons of wastewater and other pollutants annually, which pollute rivers, lakes, the atmosphere and the oceans, even the soil and groundwater.
The report found the amount of wastewater discharged from dyeing processes accounted for 80% of the textile industry's total wastewater discharge and contains a number of harmful substances. Additionally, the re-use of water in the textile industry lags way behind that of many other industries, "creating a situation where water efficiency is incredibly low".
The environmental groups are calling on the companies included in the report to investigate their supply chains and make greener purchases.
They also see collaboration as key to overcoming the textile sector's pollution problems, including stronger government supervision, greater transparency of information, pressure from apparel brands and retailers on their suppliers to reduce pollution emissions, and "a sense of environmental responsibility" within the textile industry.
The research follows similar investigations by Greenpeace last year, which also found clothing suppliers in China were releasing a cocktail of chemicals into the Pearl and Yangtze River deltas.
As a result of the subsequent global 'Detox' campaign, six leading brands and retailers - Adidas, C&A, H&M, Li Ning, Nike and Puma - have all agreed to work together to achieve the goal of zero discharge of hazardous chemicals in their supply chains by 2020.
A rise in footwear retail sales along with a surge in domestic manufacturing contributed to make 2011 a "very positive year" for the US footwear industry, according to data from the American Apparel &...
Top stories on just-style this week include news that Gap will introduce new fire safety standards at supplier factories in Bangladesh, a look at the new outsourcing players to challenge existing expo...
Mother, baby and children's goods retailer Mothercare has announced two management appointments as it looks to focus on its global operations....
NGC Software is extending its PLM and ERP software to fashion sales representatives through a strategic relationship with Threadvine Apparel & Footwear Solutions....
Bangladesh's state minister for labour has told just-style an immediate pay hike for garment sector workers is not possible despite employees' demands for a 30% increase....
Seamless apparel specialist Tefron today (4 October) said it has signed a licensing agreement with X-Technology Swiss Research & Development (XTS) to manufacture and distribute high performance sports...
Stronger sales and lower markdowns has helped US discount retailer Family Dollar to today (3 October) book a rise in fourth quarter and full-year net profit....
- 2014: Year in review - Sourcing winners and losers
- COMMENT: The decline of the buying office
- 2014: Year in review - Brand winners and losers
- 2014: Year in review - Retail winners and losers
- Bangladesh: Raising the bar on apparel exports?
- Report urges overhaul of Cambodia factory safety
- Bangladesh knitting worker killed by faulty lift
- North Face debuts locally-grown "backyard" hoodie
- Bangladesh factory improvements “will take years”
- Apparel manufacturing leads US reshoring trend