One of the Cultures of Resistance Network's core project areas is Make Food Not War, and of course, you can't have healthy food without clean fresh water. Rivers are essential sources of life and livelihoods for people in every part of the world. However, industrial pollution threatens the world’s rivers, with factories dumping hazardous chemical byproducts into rivers, putting the health of humans, animals, and the environment at risk and rendering rivers toxic. These chemicals can travel far from the source of the pollution and poison plants and animals throughout the food chain. We at the CoR Network believe that access to clean water is a human right, and celebrate the efforts of Greenpeace to protect precious river ecosystems and the communities and wildlife that depend upon them.
The Greenpeace Detox Campaign addresses the water pollution that results from the leaching and dumping of chemicals that are used in the textile industry during the production process. The Detox Campaign began with a Greenpeace investigation into water pollution from textile factories in China, which were found to be releasing toxic chemicals with hormone-disrupting properties into the Pearl and Yangtze rivers. The man-made chemical by-products of the textile industry are shown to have long-term effects on the environment and potentially devastating impacts on human and animal life. Furthermore, when testing clothing from 15 corporate brands, Greenpeace found that the chemicals used in the textile production process continue to be released when contaminated clothing is purchased and washed by consumers across the world. These tests demonstrate the truly global danger posed by these toxic chemicals as they are released into rivers and water sources from the point of production to the consumer.
The following short film, "Dirty Laundry", provides an introduction to Greenpeace's Detox Campaign.
Greenpeace's Detox Campaign is helping create a greener economy by challenging major global brands to rid their textile production processes of hazardous chemicals. The campaign calls on clothing companies around the world to commit to toxin-free production and to work with their suppliers to eliminate the use of all hazardous chemicals in their factories. Greenpeace also demands that companies reveal the names of their suppliers and the chemicals that they are discharging into water systems.
The Detox Campaign has already successfully demonstrated the power of grassroots activism and social media in pressuring corporations to clean up their production practices. Only months into the campaign, major retailers H&M, Puma, Adidas, and Nike committed to eliminating discharges of hazardous chemicals across their supply chains by 2020. In addition to pressuring corporations to adopt greener production practices, Greenpeace is pursuing legislative changes within the textile industries in several Asian countries and the European Union in order to protect rivers and the communities and ecosystems they support.
The Detox Campaign's early successes have inspired concerned citizens to take further steps to turn up the heat on the worst corporate polluters. Click here to find out how you can join others to help keep our planet's rivers and waterways safe.