POV

Environmental Hangover: Greenpeace’s Detox Campaign

Greenpeace encourages consumers to control their urges in order to pressure industry giants to make a change and eliminate toxic chemicals from their supply chains.

Story by Teo J. Babini - teo@citizenbrooklyn.com Photos and video courtesy of Greenpeace


When the average US citizen thinks of a river they probably get this romantic image in their mind of Brad Pitt fly fishing in the Delaware, or something along those lines. As a native New Yorker, there are only two rivers, the Hudson and the East River. Both have been most efficiently used to make a body “do the Houdini”, think of them as mass graves for the city’s mob population. When I was a kid we went fishing in one of them for a school trip, you can imagine our surprise that such horrifying water could actually sustain any sort of living creature, though you could make a pretty solid bet that if you ate one of those aquatic mutants for dinner you probably be having breakfast with Jesus. You’d have better chances with a plate of shady street meat.

Photo © Greenpeace

Photo © Greenpeace

Unfortunately for some, halal carts aren’t always so readily available. Such is the case with Chinese people living in rural villages along the Pearl River. For these villagers, the river has been a lifeline for centuries, providing food and employment through fishing, as well as transportation and water, in its various capacities. Now, I haven’t heard many stories of people dumping cadavers in the Pearl, but what textile manufacturers do dump is wastewater from industrial processes, which is generally filled with all kinds of poisonous material. So rather than erase the corpses, this river creates them, by poisoning the people who rely on it to sustain life.

Photo © Greenpeace

Photo © Greenpeace

If you ever experienced NYC Fashion’s Night Out, then you know there’s no hangover like an industry hangover, but over consumption applies to more than booze. We’re alcoholics addicted to garments instead of gimlets, covering our body in toxins, except that, in this case, someone else enjoys the hangover, and they didn’t even get invited to the party.

Photo © Greenpeace

Photo © Greenpeace

Greenpeace proposes a rather appropriate solution: Detox. Encouraging consumers to control their urges in order to pressure industry giants to make a change and eliminate toxic chemicals from their supply chains. Due to a successful online campaign coupled with physical protest, awareness is spreading like wild fire with palpable results: Nike, Adidas, Puma, H&M, Zara, Mango, Esprit, Levi’s, Uniqlo, Benetton, Victoria’s Secret, G-Star Raw and Valentino, among others, have all signed on.

Photo © Greenpeace

Photo © Greenpeace

But, like all good fights, it’s not over ‘til fat lady sings. There is still much work to be done; GAP, Calvin Klein and Abercrombie&Fitch, it seems, still need a bit more convincing. Join the good guys here and do your part in convincing them: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/toxics/detox/

Nobody wants to end up just another bloated body in the river, make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse.

Disclaimer: Greenpeace suggests, at times, unsustainable deadlines for these monumental changes. So take it all with a grain of salt. Change is good, even at a sustainable pace.

Photo © Greenpeace

Photo © Greenpeace

Photo © Greenpeace

Photo © Greenpeace

Photo © Greenpeace

Photo © Greenpeace

 

Photo © Greenpeace

Photo © Greenpeace

Photo © Greenpeace

Photo © Greenpeace

One Response to “Environmental Hangover: Greenpeace’s Detox Campaign”

  1. Ebru says:

    Makes you think of the future of the apparel business. Brand will need to not just detox but also clean up their supply chain. The button has been pushed and there is no going back without fixing things as all are exposed on social media imminently. This will change the industry – hangover or not.