High street fashion brands are selling clothing contaminated with hazardous chemicals that break down to form hormone-disrupting or even cancer-causing chemicals when released into the environment, according to a Greenpeace report.
The report reveals that hazardous chemicals can be found in clothing from 20 leading fashion brands. All tested brands had at least several items containing these chemicals with the highest concentrations in clothing items from Zara, Levi’s, Mango, Calvin Klein, Jack & Jones, and Marks & Spencer (M&S). Zara is alone in the study for having clothes that can give rise to both chemicals that are hormone-disrupting or cancer causing.
The items tested were manufactured mainly in the Global South, and included jeans, trousers, t-shirts, dresses and, underwear designed for men, women, and children and made from both artificial and natural fibers.
Hazardous chemicals are both incorporated deliberately within the materials or left as unwanted residues remaining from their use during the manufacturing process.
The report and factsheets can be downloaded at Toxic Threads: The Big Fashion Stitch-Up.