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Famous clothing brands condemned for suppliers' pollution


08:18, October 16, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- A new report by a number of environmental protection organizations has uncovered serious pollution problems with suppliers of branded clothing enterprises.

Among 49 clothing brands investigated, 47 were linked to suppliers with environmental contamination problems, said Wang Jingjing, deputy head of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), adding that only Esquel and Burberry were not involved.

According to the report, carried in Monday's Securities Daily, 30 brand owners have communicated with the Green Choice Union (GCU) since April, when it enquired of the 49 enterprises whether they knew about their suppliers' environmental performance.

Environmental NGOs of GCU revealed that 17 brand owners have acted positively, including H&M, Nike, Esquel, Wal-Mart, Levis, Adidas, Burberry and Gap.

The union wrote again to the 49 enterprises on Sept. 25, looking forward to explanations on suppliers management, and by Oct. 7 it had replies from a total of 17 of the bunch, among which only Nike, Esquel, Adidas, H&M, Levis and Burberry have implemented environmental regulations on dyeing suppliers.

Nineteen brands gave no response, including Disney, Polo Ralph Lauren, 361 Degrees, Kappa, Macy's, Armani, Calvin Klein and Carrefour, according to the organizations.

The five Chinese NGOs members of the GCU, carried out a nine-month investigation last year on more than 6,000 dyeing enterprises violating environmental regulations, and traced polluters supplying 49 celebrated brands.

Marks & Spencer, the largest international retail group in Britain, once claimed to have verified all the "probable concerns."

However, research from environmental organizations later registered the contamination problem of Qing Mao Textile and Dyeing Ltd., Marks & Spencer's suspected supplier.

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