corporate citizenship

Burberry Bows to Greenpeace Pressure to Go Toxin-Free

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 31, 2014 01:40 PM

When a research study from Greenpeace turned up hazardous chemicals, or "Little Monsters" as they put it, in children's clothing and shoes from major brands including Disney, Burberry, Adidas, Gap and others, the environmental activists turned up the pressure by urging consumers lobby the brands to clean up their act as part of its bigger #Detox campaign.

This week, Greenpeace scored a victory when Burberry agreed to detox its clothing by Jan. 1, 2020. Initially, its corporate back up against the wall, Burberry balked at the group's allegation that a purple metallic shirt contained hazardous chemicals. The shirt in question, made in Tunisia and worn by Romeo Beckham (aka David & Victoria's son) in a June 2013 campaign, contained a high level of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), manmade chemicals used in detergents, which degrade to nonylphenols (NP), both toxic and hormonally disruptive.

"All Burberry products are safe and fully adhere to international environmental and safety standards," the luxury apparel brand responded in a statement. "We have an active programme dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of our supply chain, working in collaboration with our suppliers and NGOs. Greenpeace is aware of our work, which includes the commitment to eliminate from our supply chain the release of chemicals that have an environmental impact."Continue reading...

brand sustainability

Victoria's Secret Bans Toxic Chemicals, Joining Environmental Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 22, 2013 06:31 PM

Limited Brands, owner of Victoria’s Secret and La Senza, has committed to eliminate hazardous chemicals from its global supply chain in response to Greenpeace's Detox campaign. An investigation in 2012 by the environmental advocacy organization revealed a hormone-disrupting phthalate in underwear sold in Victoria’s Secret stores in the United States.

Phthalates and perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are man-made chemicals that contain non-stick and water-repellent properties. The chemicals can affect the liver, disrupt hormones and alter growth.

"With Limited Brands being the 14th company to Detox since Greenpeace launched its campaign, the fashion industry is finally waking up to its responsibilities in the cycle of toxic water pollution," John Deans, Greenpeace USA Toxics Campaigner, told brandchannel. "Now it's time for brands like Calvin Klein, G Star Raw and The Gap to take their place alongside these Detox leaders."Continue reading...

brands under fire

Victoria’s Secret Responds to Child Labor Claims

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 16, 2011 05:07 PM

The Victoria’s Secret brand can get some folks to get all hot and bothered — and not for the reasons you think. Bloomberg Markets magazine reports that “underage, mistreated African children have been forced to plant and pick organic, fair-trade cotton used in some of the company's underwear,” as USA Today notes.

The magazine's investigative report tells the story of seven children in Burkina Faso who work on the farms that Victoria’s Secret buys cotton from. The story starts with the distressing life of 13-year-old cotton-picker Clarisse Kambire, who is whipped with a tree branch if her production is deemed to be too slow by the man overseeing her work.

The company that owns Victoria’s Secret, Limited Brands, responded in a statement that it's conducting its own investigation into the claims. "If this allegation is true, it describes behavior that is contrary to our company's values and the code of labor and sourcing standards that we require all of our suppliers to meet. These standards expressly prohibit child labor," Limited Brands said. "Depending on the findings, we are prepared to take swift action to prevent the illegal use of child labor in the fields where we source Fairtrade-certified organic cotton in Burkina Faso."

brand news

Headline Roundup: Retail Beat

Posted by Stephanie Startz on November 19, 2009 09:30 AM

UK retail growth rate at post-recession high. [Telegraph]

Old Navy begins to rebound, lifting Gap Inc. shares. [WSJ]

Seeing shift to web, JC Penney will cease producing catalogs. [WSJ]

Limited Brands' Q3 boost is due to cost-cutting. [WaPo]

Luxury stores cut back on stock, sales. [NY Times]

Ford expects consumers to demand smaller cars. [NY Times]

AOL to cut workforce by one-third after spinoff from Time Warner. [WSJ]

Burberry teams up with Genesis Color to move into India's market. [Economic Times]

(More headlines: Guinness, Urban Outfitters, McDonald's redesign.)Continue reading...

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