Hazardous chemicals have been found in children's clothing and footwear produced by luxury fashion brands including Versace, Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana, according to a new investigation.

The research by environmental organisation Greenpeace has been released as Milan fashion week is about to get underway.

It covers tests on 27 products from eight luxury brands - 16 of which tested positive for one or more hazardous chemicals, including nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), phthalates, per- or polyfluorinated chemicals, and antimony.

The highest concentration of NPEs, which can disrupt the natural balance of hormones, was detected in a Louis Vuitton branded ballerina shoe, while the highest concentration of PFCs was found in a Versace Jacket.

In addition, Greenpeace noted, the concentration of one hazardous chemical (nonlyphenol ethoxylates or NPEs) in some items labelled 'Made in Italy' could raise the question as to whether the clothing tested was manufactured in Europe.

"Luxury brands thrive on the exclusivity and quality of their products," said Chiara Campione, fashion duel project leader at Greenpeace Italy.

"This report shows they are deceiving their customers with toxic lies. This also goes beyond luxury fashion - hazardous chemicals affect everyone."

A number of companies, including Burberry, Valentino, Adidas, Jack Wolfskin, Li Ning, Nike and Puma have joined Greenpeace's Detox campaign, which commits them to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from their supply chains by 2020.