Boohoo, Missguided and Prada still selling ‘dirty’ viscose

Both high end brands and low-cost retailers are failing to adopt sustainably sourced viscose, with Missguided, Boohoo, Prada, Gucci and Chanel named and shamed by a sustainability organisation.


Photo: Missguided

Changing Markets Foundation said these brands are showing a “complete lack of engagement” on the issue, despite warnings that the fibre could have a devastating impact on the environment if not produced responsibly.

“After many years of complacency from fashion brands and producers with regard to the environmental impacts of viscose manufacturing, the tide is finally beginning to turn towards more responsible production methods. But the unlikely bedfellows of luxury brands and discount retailers continue to ignore an issue that is blighting people’s lives and the environment,” said Natasha Hurley, campaign manager at Changing Markets Foundation.

“What’s more, most luxury fashion brands are failing to publicly disclose supply chain information. This is unacceptable. It’s time for them to wake up to consumers’ desire for more transparency and more sustainable fashion.”

Whilst viscose has the potential to be a sustainable fibre, an investigation found that suppliers to global brands were dumping toxic wastewater in lakes and waterway, essentially destroying agriculture and fisheries for local communities. Furthermore, the investigation found higher incidence of serious diseases such as cancer in communities living near some of the plants.

A group of brands including Inditex, Asos, Marks & Spencer, H&M, Tesco, Esprit and C&A have all committed to engaging with suppliers and promoting a cleaner production of viscose. However, Missguided, Boohoo, Prada and others have ignored letters sent by NGOs to address the problem.

Meanwhile, Topshop owner Arcadia engaged with the campaign but has yet to publish any policies relating to viscose, said Changing Markets. Next is expected to sign up to the organisation’s 'Roadmap towards responsible viscose and modal fibre manufacturing' in the coming weeks.

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