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M&S Announces Chemical Commitments

United Kingdom-based fashion retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S), in reponse to environmental watchdog group Greenpeace's Detox campaign to stop chemical pollution of the Earth's waters, has committed to eliminating by 2020 toxic chemical releases from its supply chains and all products it sells.

M&S will train and educate dyehouses about alkylphenol compounds (APOEs) and strengthen its APOE ban, originally issued in 1998; further improve management of perfluorocarbons (PFCs) within its supply chain, with the goal of complete elimination by July 2016; conduct a trial with five Chinese mills to determine the feasibility of public disclosure of data related to dyehouse chemical discharges; and continue to update its chemical policy and eliminate all chemicals determined to be hazardous as new evidence comes to light.

As part of its agreement with Greenpeace, M&S has published its Environmental & Chemical Policy and its list of restricted substances.

"These new commitments push the boundaries of the technology used in the textile industry and cement M&S' position as a leader in the management of chemicals in the textile industry," said Mark Sumner, sustainable raw materials manager, M&S. "We've worked closely with Greenpeace over the past three months to construct them and both parties agree that they will push us and our partners to new levels of knowledge and research."

Greenpeace initiated its Detox campaign in 2011 after it found that a number of major apparel brands were sourcing product from textile mills in China that release toxic chemicals into public waterways.

October 30, 2012

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