Certification body Oeko-Tex has unveiled a new compliance tool which allows textile manufacturers to assess the extent to which they meet Detox targets outlined by environmental activist group Greenpeace.

The solution, Detox to Zero by Oeko-Tex, supports producers in achieving Detox targets as outlined by Greenpeace in its Detox Campaign challenge. Launched in 2011, the campaign pushes fashion brands and retailers to commit to zero discharge of all hazardous chemicals by 2020. It also requires their suppliers to disclose the releases of toxic chemicals from their facilities to communities at the site of the water pollution.

The new Oeko-Tex tool allows manufacturers to monitor the status of their chemical management systems and the quality of their waste water and sludge, and helps companies to better identify harmful substances in textile production by utilising three basic modules:

  • An MRSL screening of all chemicals used;
  • An analysis and assessment of the established chemical management system;
  • A review of all waste water and sludge with regard to the 11 groups of harmful chemicals condemned by Greenpeace;

The results are then summarised in an annual report that also includes specific improvement suggestions for further implementation. With this status report, companies are also able to transparently communicate the stages achieved on the path toward complete elimination of Detox substances.

In addition, stakeholder groups, such as NGOs or consumers, can check company information online using the report number.

Earlier this year, Greenpeace praised Inditex, Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) and Benetton  for being on track to clean up their chains, while Victoria's Secret, Esprit and sports brands Nike and LiNing were said to be lagging behind the field.

Nike, Victoria's Secret, Esprit lag in detox efforts

Meanwhile, the environmental action group has previously expressed concerns the textile and apparel industry is not doing enough to meet its goals of going toxic-free by 2020, suggesting part of the problem lies with "flawed" chemical lists. It has also set its sights on closing the loop as the next focus of its campaign.

Friction over chemical lists hampers Detox ambition