Amsterdam – Limited Brands, owner of iconic underwear labels Victoria’s Secret and La Senza, committed on January 22 to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals throughout its global supply chain and across all of its brands and products by 2020, in response to Greenpeace‘s global Detox Campaign.
It is now the 14th global corporation to make a credible Detox commitment and the first to provide an explicit process that will ensure the total elimination of phthalates . This comes after Greenpeace investigations  revealed the presence of a hormone-disrupting phthalate in underwear purchased from Victoria’s Secret in the United States.
“Limited Brands has the chance to move from toxic villain to ‘Detox Angel’ with its commitment to completely eliminate all hazardous chemicals from its supply chains and products. The onus is now on the company to follow up on its ambitious statement and quickly turn words into action,” said Marietta Harjono, Detox campaigner at Greenpeace International.
As part of its commitment, Limited Brands will disclose discharge data from 80 percent of its entire global supply chain by the end of 2013, further accelerating the transparency revolution that is taking place in the sector due to the Detox campaign. This disclosure will empower people living near manufacturing facilities providing information on what is being discharged into their environment.
“Limited Brands considers clean water as a critical global issue, and is proud to join Greenpeace in its campaign to eliminate hazardous chemical use,” said Sam Fried, Executive Vice President for Law, Policy & Governance at Limited Brands.
As part of its announcement, Limited Brands also provided a concrete elimination date for all perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), committing to a total ban of the chemical group by July 2015 . Its commitment will apply to all of the brands under the Limited Brands umbrella, and for all products sold from the company’s approximately 3,000 owned and franchised stores across the world.
Greenpeace’s Detox Campaign demands fashion brands commit to zero discharge of all hazardous chemicals by 2020 and require their suppliers to disclose all releases of toxic chemicals from their facilities to communities at the site of the water pollution.
1) As part of the measures to ban phthalates, Limited Brands has committed to initiate an investigation into the current compliance to this requirement, reporting the findings to the public by the end of June 2013, and strengthening its supplier contract language to ensure only Phthalate-free chemical formulations are utilised by the end of June 2013. For more information, along with the entire Detox Commitment, please visit: http://www.limitedbrands.com/responsibility/our_responsibility.aspx
2) Results can be found in Greenpeace International’s investigative report “Toxic Threads: The Big Fashion Stitch Up”, available at: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/publications/Campaign-reports/Toxics-reports/Big-Fashion-Stitch-Up/
3) Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs) are manmade chemicals widely used by industry for their non-stick and water-repellent properties. In the textile industry, they are used to make textile and leather products both water and stain-proof. These chemicals have been shown to affect the liver as well as acting as hormone disruptors, altering levels of growth and reproductive hormones.