Lidl wants all harmful chemicals out of its textile products by 1 January 2020, a decision it took after Greenpeace pressure.
"Aware of responsibility"
"Lidl is aware of its responsibility for people and the environment", the chain said. "It is our priority to eliminate their use across our global supply chain and our operations for all footwear and apparel."
Lidl has now divulged a step-by-step plan to get rid of all hazardous chemicals in its textiles by 2020, after pressure from Greenpeace and several other environmental organizations paid off. Suppliers can no longer use alkylphenols by June 2016, followed by all materials harmful for the immune system and the reproduction process a year later.
The news is a huge boost for Greenpeace's Detox campaign as Lidl is the fourth largest retailer worldwide. It sells more than 1 billion euros worth of textile each year and the company is even one of the 10 largest clothes stores in its home country of Germany.
"Example for other supermarket chains"
Lidl's support for the Detox campaign is within a month after its competitor Tchibo, a smaller German discount chain, also gave its support. Fashion giants like Adidas, Burberry, C&A, H&M, Nike and Zara had already joined Greenpeace's Detox campaign. At the end of November, Puma also joined.
"In backing the Detox campaign, fashion chains, luxury brands, sports brands and large distribution chains show that the textile industry can change the way our clothes are made", Manfred Santen (Greenpeace Germany) said.
"The worldwide store giant Lidl has taken a giant leap forward. Now Aldi, Penny, Tesco, Carrefour and Walmart also have to change their production process, moving away from quantity and back towards quality", he concluded.