SPAIN: Inditex to phase out hazardous chemicals by 2020
Spanish retail giant Inditex has joined an industry wide initiative that will see it cut hazardous chemicals from its clothing by 2020.
The retailer said it will also become increasingly transparent, posting the chemical use and discharge information of many of the factories it uses.
"Inditex recognises that to achieve this goal, mechanisms for disclosure and transparency about the hazardous chemicals used in its global supply chain are important and necessary, in line with the Right to Know principle," the company said.
"In line with this principle Inditex will increase the public availability and transparency of its restricted substance list and audit process and will set up public disclosure of discharges of hazardous chemicals in its supply chain."
As part of this strategy, the owner of the Zara and Bershka brands, will publish its Restricted Substances List and audit processes by the end of April 2013, and annually there after. It will also begin public disclosure of discharges of hazardous chemicals in its supply chain via individual facility level disclosure of chemical use and discharges data.
The company has committed to disclosing the chemical and discharge use of at least 10 Chinese supplier factories, and another 10 in other parts of the global south by March 2013. It will disclose an additional 30 Chinese supplier factories and another 50 based in the global south by the end of December 2013, using a credible public online platform, with full facility transparency.
The announcement follows a report by Greenpeace that accused the brand of selling clothing with hazardous chemicals in them. The report, Toxic Threads - The Big Fashion Stitch-up, discovered that Zara and other brands were selling clothing that contain NPEs, which it cliams break down into hormone disrupting chemicals.
It also found traces of a cancer-causing amine from the use of certain azo dyes in two products from Zara.
Inditex will also phase out hormone disruptive Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEOs), which are often used in cleaning agents, textile or leather production. The retailer plans to enhance training and auditing of its supply chain, as well as ensuring suppliers have the latest information on APEOs. Additionally, it plans to initiate an investigation into the current compliance, and changing its supplier agreements to ensure only APEO-free chemical formulations are used by the end of April 2013.
The company will also ban the use of Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) in its manufacturing processes by January 2013.
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