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Greenpeace puts focus on detox before circular economy

Greenpeace says its ‘Detox’ campaign efforts could be ruined by the circular economy idea promoted by large global brands. The argument is an effective six year-long effort to reduce hazardous chemicals from the textile global supply chain could be ruined by a premature circular economy, where recycling happens before detoxing processes and materials occur, while the overall growing intensity of production continues to pose a serious threat to the environment.

Since 2011, the NGO’s Detox campaign has been calling on major brands to phase out 11 chemical classes of concern by 2020. It says without eliminating the use and release of harmful chemicals from production chains the circular dream could well become a toxic recirculation nightmare.

It says this is also a prerequisite for high quality circularity by ensuring that clean materials are available for recycling. However, it adds, the current rates of excessive production and consumption in the industry as a whole are probably outweighing any gains that are being made.

Greenpeace warns a circular future for the fashion industry would rely even more on environmentally harmful polyester and still seek growth in material output without questioning the overproduction, overconsumption and the subsequent decrease in the quality and longevity of clothes.