Tesco pledges to tackle hazardous chemicals in clothing supply chain
Greenpeace said the supermarket giant’s commitment went beyond chemicals already banned by EU regulations.
Tesco has joined a growing list of major high street retailers in beginning to remove chemicals thought to be hazardous from the supply chain of its clothing brand.
Greenpeace said Tesco will immediately begin the process of eliminating 11 groups of hazardous substances from its F&F brand, including phthalates, brominated and chlorinated flame retardants, chlorinated solvents and heavy metals.
The environmental group said the supermarket giant’s commitment went beyond chemicals already banned by EU regulations and took a precautionary principle, eliminating those thought to be harmful but not necessarily backed by evidence.
Some 80 international brands and suppliers have now committed to the Greenpeace Detox Campaign since it began in 2011, including Marks & Spencer, H&M, Benetton, Levi Strauss, Aldi, Lidl and Tchibo.
Kirsten Brodde, Detox Campaign leader at Greenpeace Germany, said: “The Detox standard is the new industry baseline. In only six years, forerunners of the textile sector went from total denial and opacity of their supply chain to transparency and the banning of all hazardous chemicals.
“Tesco’s commitment shows the rest of the industry that using hazardous chemicals is not an option anymore. Tesco now has the opportunity to match the progress being made by other retailers and Greenpeace will monitor it closely to ensure they follow up their commitment.”
The campaign calls for members to eliminate chemicals that may harm the environment, even if the type or magnitude of harm is not yet known, increase transparency about the suppliers they use and commit to eliminate all releases of toxic chemicals by 2020.
Alan Wragg, technical director for clothing at Tesco, said: “Our Responsible Sourcing Team has been working with Greenpeace to align all our textile products with the Detox commitment, starting with clothing and footwear, and we’ve compiled a list of restricted substances to help guide our suppliers.
“This commitment is part of our goal to protect the environment by sourcing products sustainably and responsibly for our customers.”