Greenpeace slams Zara for using toxins in clothing
Israeli activists join international campaign against retailer for chemicals in products, including children’s jeans.
Greenpeace protest in front of Zara store. Photo: Yair Meyuhas
With cloths draped over their faces to disguise themselves as mannequins,
Greenpeace activists clad in Zara clothing protested outside the company’s
Dizengoff Street store on Monday, as part of a global campaign against the
fashion chain’s alleged use of toxins.
The Israeli members have joined an
international Greenpeace campaign against the store they have called the
“largest fashion retailer” in the world as a result of a toxicology report that
the organization released this week. Examining 141 products from different
manufacturers – including Zara, Levi’s, Marks & Spencer, Mango and Calvin
Klein – researchers discovered the highest quantity of toxins present in Zara
products, though others also contained many, according to Greenpeace.
are here today to demand that both Zara Israel and the decision-makers at Zara
globally stop using toxic chemicals in the clothes they sell in Israel,” said
Yael Ifergan, the local campaign manager here. “This demand will help stop the
flow of these toxic and carcinogenic chemicals in Chinese rivers, and will also
help stop the pollution of our waste-water that can then reach the groundwater
and the agriculture.”
Activists have been demonstrating outside the
company’s stores in Spain, the Netherlands and Germany, holding signs that read
“stop the poisoning.”
The protest effort will culminate next week, when
hundreds of activists worldwide perform a mannequin stunt similar to the one
that occurred in Israel on Sunday.
Greenpeace is singling out Zara
because it faired worst in the report and also “churns out a whopping 850
million clothing items a year,” according to the organization.
from the report that the group provided was Zara’s children’s jeans, which
contain “dyes that can release a carcinogenic amine under certain conditions,”
Greenpeace reported. In addition to the amine, the jeans also contain
“nonylphenol ethoxylates, which break down in the environment to form toxic,
hormone-disrupting chemicals,” the organization said.
people have joined Greenpeace’s online detox protest against Zara. Other
competitors that have had toxin problems, like Marks & Spencer and H&M,
have made concrete commitments to phasing out the poisons from their clothing,
unlike Zara, according to the organization.
In response to the Greenpeace
campaign, the Inditex Group – which owns Zara – said it assures that “stringent
quality controls” apply to all of its products, following the most rigorous
safety standards worldwide.
“Regarding the results of the analysis made
by Greenpeace, Inditex already has sent to this organization the appropriate
information from the independent laboratories permanently working on this
matter,” a statement from Inditex said, adding that the laboratories’ garments
comply with health and environmental standards.
Already for several
months Inditex has been holding discussions with Greenpeace to reach a
convincing and realistic Detox Solution Proposal, according to the
“Inditex reaffirms its environmental commitment and its public
transparency and communication policy, with absolute respect to all parties,
including suppliers, and we reiterate our willingness to take the necessary
actions to reach, in the shortest time possible, the common goal of zero
discharge of hazardous substances that may be in the textile world.”