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Victoria’s Secret Produces Toxic Lingerie According to Greenpeace

Category: Lingerie news November 26th, 2012
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Greenpeace is calling for consumer pressure, government action and improved corporate transparency after a new investigation found widespread toxic chemical residue in brand-name clothing from around the world. Victoria’s Secret, the U.S. lingerie giant, is among the brands named in Toxic Threads: The Big Fashion Stitch-Up. The brand is labelled a ‘villain’ for not developing environmental sustainability policies that target chemical use.

Greenpeace named Victoria’s Secret “villain” for using toxic chemicals in producing lingerie

Victoria’s Secret isn’t the worst offender in Greenpeace’s evaluation of 20 global fashion brands, but it still earned the dubious distinction of being parodied on the report’s cover page (picture above) , which appears to show a dead, dye-stained model wearing a bustier and decorative angel wings.

According to Greenpeace, Toxic Threads is the result of a scientific investigation that saw the group purchase 141 clothing items in 29 countries from authorized retailers, then test the garments for specific hazardous compounds.The study looked for toxic phthalates, NPEs (nonylphenol ethoxylates) and carcinogenic amines found in certain dyes. The study list gives a black eye to some of the world’s most well-known brands, including Zara, Benetton, Mango, H&M and Calvin Klein.

Of the garments tested, four were from Victoria’s Secret, including two bras and a camisole made in China and a pair of cotton underwear made in Sri Lanka. The VS products showed trace amounts of NPEs and undetectable levels of amine dyes; however, the study found an unacceptable concentration of phthalates in the underwear sample.


Victoria’s Secret was the only lingerie brand tested in the Toxic Threads study. And while the company’s test results are far less damning than most of the other fast-fashion brands tested, it is singled out for the failure of parent company Limited Brands to commit to proactive sustainability practices in its manufacturing. The report claims:

Victoria’s Secret “[is] either completely non-transparent to their customers, or irresponsibly show no public awareness of the issue of hazardous chemical use in their products and their supply chain.”

Greenpeace spokesman Martin Hojsik said:

We found high levels of phthalates in the Victoria’s Secrets garments. If that product was a toy it would not be permitted in the EU. We need to replace these chemicals with safer substitutes. The textile industry is one of the biggest polluters and we are asking brands to remove these chemicals from their supply chain.”

Phthalates are a chemical residue from plastisol, the rubbery plastic compound used to create logos and graphics on clothing and are believed to have an effect on the female reproductive system and early childhood development.

In 2008 the company faced a number of lawsuits from women who claimed to suffer from severe rashes and scarring after wearing bras contaminated with formaldehyde.

A Victoria’s Secret spokesman said:

We are aware of the research but have yet to comment.”

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