Greenpeace said customers are able to follow the steps each company takes towards its commitment via its website

Greenpeace said customers are able to follow the steps each company takes towards its commitment via its website

Six of Italy's largest textile suppliers have reaffirmed their commitment to eliminating hazardous chemicals from their supply chains, highlighting the work they have completed to date.

At a press conference to mark the end of Milan Fashion Week, suppliers Miroglio, Berbrand, Besani e Zip, Attilio Imperiali, and Italdenim publicly committed to eliminating all hazardous chemicals from their supply chains and products by 2020.

In 2011, Greenpeace published its Dirty Laundry report, which found toxic chemicals in waste water discharges from two textile processing facilities in China supplying global apparel firms. Since then, the environmental pressure group has been calling on clothing brands to remove hazardous chemicals from their supply chains and products by 2020 as part of its Detox challenge.

The companies used the conference this week to also reveal the progress they have made to date, including the phase-out of eight of the 11 priority groups of hazardous substances identified by Greenpeace.

The environmental pressure group said customers will now be able to follow the steps each company takes towards its commitment via its website, making it easier for them to be held accountable for their actions.

Chiara Campione, #TheFashionDuel project leader for Greenpeace Italy, said: "These ground-breaking commitments are proof that beautiful, toxic-free fashion is becoming the industry norm. With these textile suppliers now leading the sector, brands can no longer argue that Detox is not possible. The door is now open for other brands to follow suit."

Greenpeace Italy estimates that in 2013, these six companies produced around 40m linear metres of printed textile material, enough to stretch around the Earth's circumference. These commitments, it said, could directly or indirectly impact upon the production of around 70m garments per year.

Two years ago Greenpeace Italy laid down the Detox gauntlet to the luxury fashion sector. While some labels such as Burberry and Valentino have since committed to toxic-free fashion, the group says that other big names such as Versace, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana have yet to commit.

Campione continued: "Detox is becoming a must-have trend, supported by forward thinking brands, suppliers and millions of fashion lovers around the world. While the market moves towards a toxic-free future, the laggards are becoming increasingly unfashionable. If suppliers can do it, what are Versace, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Dolce&Gabbana waiting for?"

Click here to read an analysis by just-style on the challenges of committing and the need for industry collaboration.