Is Greenpeace’s detox campaign being greenwashed by its signatories?

The original roadmap was unveiled by apparel companies Adidas Group, C&A, H&M, Li Ning, Nike and Puma in November 2011, with the brands hailing it as setting a new standard in environmental performance for the global apparel and footwear industry, with the single stated objective of zero discharge of toxic chemicals by 2020 in their respective supply chains.

Unfortunately the recently updated Joint Roadmap, talks of a need to “move the conversation” away from the zero discharge element, floating new ideas to reflect a more “holistic” approach.

Some of the signatories have complained that the elimination of a fixed list of chemicals from the supply chain is extraordinarily challenging in practice – effectively meaning that the main goal of the group can never be met.

The group has been accused of delaying tactics by campaigning group Greenpeace, pointing the finger at sporting goods giants Nike, Adidas and Puma, which it accuses of making “little progress” on the issue over the past 18 months.

It appears Nike, Adidas, Puma and co. all intend to continue using and discharging toxic chemicals beyond 2020.

Golf Refugees would like to see all apparel brands provide a list of the toxic chemicals they use. We would also like apparel brands to test any combinations of toxic chemicals and publish the toxicity results.

Golf Refugees proposed a new ‘colour’ apparel labelling system, similar to the ‘traffic light’ graphic recently introduced voluntarily by the food industry for ‘fat’ ‘salt’ and ‘sugar’. Where colours ‘red’, ‘amber’ and ‘green’ would indicate the level of toxic chemicals used.

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