Valentino proves that 'green' is the new 'black'

Posted by Richardg — 8 February 2013 at 2:03pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace International

At the start of November, we threw down the gauntlet to 15 top Italian and French luxury fashion brands. We challenged them to clean up their products by agreeing not to use toxic chemicals and to ensure their leather and packaging wasn't causing deforestation.

Every day, another piece of the Amazon is destroyed to clear the way for cattle ranching that supplies the leather used in our shoes, bags and belts. It's the same in Indonesia, where rainforests are still being turned into paper and packaging. In China and Mexico, hazardous chemicals used by the textile industry are polluting our precious water resources.

High fashion brands, such as Chanel, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana, are meant to be real trendsetters. So we were really disappointed to discover that they were failing to make sure that their products were not linked to deforestation or made with hazardous chemicals.

You can have a look at the results of our survey at

Other brands, like Salvatore Ferragamo and Louis Vuitton, have only given us a partial commitment.  These companies need to move with the times and recognise that their customers don't want to buy clothing that is costing the earth.

But there is some fantastic news. On Wednesday, Valentino proved that green is the new black.

The Italian fashion giant made an ambitious and binding commitment to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from its supply chain and products by 2020, and also committed to ensure its leather, paper and packaging wasn't causing deforestation.

These commitments are just the beginning, of course, and must be swiftly followed up by action on the ground. But they're a great first step and beg the question: why can't other haute couture brands follow suit?

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