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Victoria’s Secret Going Green
Posted by richard | January 23, 2013

Only two months after being labelled a “toxic villain”, Victoria’s Secret is back on the side of the angels as far as Greenpeace is concerned.

Limited Brands, parent company of both VS and La Senza, yesterday became the latest major international retailer to commit to Greenpeace’s Detox campaign to eliminate hazardous chemicals from clothing manufacturing and textile production.

“Limited Brands recognizes the urgent need for eliminating industrial releases of all hazardous chemicals,” the company said in a lengthy written statement that outlined its short- and long-term plan to detoxify its production chain.

[See Full Text of Limited Brands’ Detox Statement Below]

The company vows to achieve zero discharge of pollutants in its manufacturing by the year 2020 and to publish an annual audit, beginning this April, that identifies all hazardous chemicals still present in its vast, world-wide supplier network.

Moreover, the company pledges to take a proactive role on the issue by “moving industry, government, science and technology to deliver on systemic change … across the industry.”

Limited’s commitment focuses on 11 “priority” chemical groups that have been identified as the most dangerous pollutants in textile manufacturing.

Topping that list are APEOs (alkylphenol ethoxylates), a residue of cleaning agents and dyes that have been shown to disrupt hormone levels in aquatic life. Limited vows to eliminate all APEOs — the use of which is already prohibited in many countries — from its supply network by June 2013.

Limited also sets timelines for the reporting and elimination of other chemicals such as PFCs (perfluorinated compounds) and Phthalates from its manufacturing.

With yesterday’s announcement, Limited Brands becomes the 14th major retail brand to align itself with Greenpeace’s high-pressure Detox campaign. In the last month alone, Benetton, Levis and Uniqlo have made similar commitments.

All of those green pledges came swiftly on the heels of Greenpeace’s ‘Toxic Threads‘ report issued in November, in which the activist group scientifically tested clothing from major international brands for the presence of toxic residues. Victoria’s Secret was identified as a “villain” in that report for its parent company’s lack of sustainability policies.

For companies like Limited Brands, the stakes were high. An earlier Greenpeace report in 2011 called ‘Dirty Laundry‘ led to protests and consumer boycotts around the world aimed at major sportswear labels (Puma, adidas, etc.) that were found to be polluting China’s waterways.

Closer to home, there were rumors circulating after last fall’s ‘Toxic Threads‘ that supermodel Miranda Kerr — who owns the Kora line of organic skin care products — was deeply upset by the report and threatened to quit modeling for Victoria’s Secret unless the company addressed Greenpeace’s concerns.

Read the full text of Limited Brands’ new detox commitments below:

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