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Protests against toxicant chemicals held at Taipei's ZARA flagship store

By Joy Lee--Greenpeace (綠色和平組織) activists protested in front of the ZARA flagship store in Taipei yesterday over what they say are harmful chemicals contained in the clothes it sells.

Eight volunteers dressed up as mannequins in front of the ZARA store in Taipei to show their determination to fight against the use of hazardous chemicals in the process of making clothing.

According to a report released earlier this week by Greenpeace, 20 top name fashion brands are selling clothing contaminated with toxicant chemicals like NPE that break down to form hormone-disrupting or even cancer-causing chemicals when released into the environment. Toxicants are man-made poisons or environmentally damaging chemicals introduced through human activity.

Director of the Greenpeace Toxicant Prevention Project Lai Chien-ju (賴倩如) said yesterday that some other name brands, like H&M and adidas, have already promised to stop using toxicant chemicals in the production of clothing.

However, Lai said, ZARA, the largest clothing retailer in the world, didn't make the same promise and they also tried to change the focus of the issue by saying that they are not clear about which products were tested by Greenpeace.

Lai also said that people are forced to live in an environment that could be polluted by different types of chemicals because these clothing brand owners decided to include them in the clothing-making process.

The government should speed up the development of regulations concerning the use of toxicant chemicals, Lai said, so it can ensure that people can live in a safe environment.

This issue will not be solved until clothing brands, including ZARA, promise to eliminate harmful chemicals from the process of making clothing, Lai said.

Greenpeace launched an international protest against ZARA five days ago and there have been over 250,000 people sign up to support the campaign, according to Greenpeace International.

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Five volunteers dressed up as mannequins protest against ZARA in front of the flagship store in Taipei, yesterday. The protest was launched by Greenpeace, who released a test result earlier this week claiming that 20 top name fashion brands are selling clothing contaminated with toxicant chemicals. (CNA)

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