Greenpeace activists opened Milan Fashion Week yesterday at Italy’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II by unfurling an enormous banner calling for toxic free fashion in the luxury fashion industry.
Featuring Russian model Eugenia Volodina, a young “king,” and the words “Beautiful Fashion, Ugly Lies? #TheKingisNaked,” the 1,000-square-foot placard is part of a campaign to raise awareness about toxic substances in designer children’s clothing. The demonstration dovetailed with the release of A Little Story About a Fashionable Lie, a report that details the “broad range of hazardous chemicals” it found in children’s apparel and footwear produced by eight luxury fashion brands, including Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Georgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, Trussardi, and Versace.
Versace received a special call-out when Greenpeace volunteers opened a second banner emblazoned with the message “Versace Detox now!” Greenpeace researchers found the highest total concentration of polyfluorinated compounds, a class of hormone-disrupting chemicals that accumulate in the environment, in a Versace jacket for kids.
Greenpeace found the highest total concentration of polyfluorinated compounds in a Versace jacket for kids.
“We are here today to reveal the naked truth and join this little King in demanding toxic-free fashion for children everywhere,” says Chiara Campione, “Fashion Duel” project leader at Greenpeace Italy. “It is time to strip away the illusion and reveal fashion’s dirty little secret. Versace needs to live up to its reputation as a trendsetter and commit to making clothes we can all be proud of. If Burberry and Valentino can do it, why can’t Versace?”
The study, according to Greenpeace, confirms that the “use of hazardous chemicals is still widespread, even during the manufacture of the most expensive luxury textile articles for children.”
A more prestigious “made in” label is no guarantee of higher standards, either. The group’s investigation found a “similar pattern” of hazardous chemical residues in luxury items labeled as made in Europe, compared with products made in Global South countries such as China. “In fact, eight of the 10 products made in Italy were found to contain one or more hazardous chemicals in this study: from the Italian brands Dolce & Gabbana and Versace, and the French brands Dior and Louis Vuitton,” the report added.