Guotai Dyeing Factory (Well Dying Factory Limited) is accused of  toxic water pollution. Photo credit: Qiu Bo/Greenpeace

Guotai Dyeing Factory (Well Dying Factory Limited) is accused of toxic water pollution. Photo credit: Qiu Bo/Greenpeace

Apparel companies including Nike, Adidas, H&M and PVH are being targeted by a Greenpeace campaign highlighting toxic water pollution linked to the clothing supply chain.

Following a year-long investigation, Greenpeace activists protested outside the world’s largest Adidas store in Beijing, and a nearby Nike store, to draw attention to the claimed release of hazardous chemicals from two textile processing facilities in China.

The environmental pressure group said it had found the toxic chemicals in samples of waste water discharges from the Youngor Textile City Complex and the Well Dyeing Factory, by the Yangtze and Pearl River deltas.

The facilities supply apparel companies including Adidas, Nike, PVH, Puma, Abercrombie & Fitch, Calvin Klein, Lacoste, Li Ning, Meters/bonwe, Bauer Hockey, Converse, Cortefiel and H&M, Greenpeace added.

It said the chemicals found included “persistent and bioaccumulative hormone disruptors that pose long-term threats to the environment and to human health”.

“Greenpeace is challenging the clothing brands named in this report to eliminate releases of hazardous chemicals from their supply chain and products, and we are calling on trendsetting brands that have a major influence on their supply chains, such as Adidas and Nike, to take the lead,” said Yifang Li, East Asia toxics campaigner for Greenpeace.

Of the companies targeted in the campaign, Bauer Hockey, Converse, Cortefiel, H&M, Nike and Puma said they made no use of the Youngor Group’s wet processes in garment production.

However, Greenpeace said none of the companies involved had the necessary policies in place to give them a complete overview of the chemicals used and released across their entire supply chain.