In the Dirty Fashion revisited report, published by the foundation that exposes irresponsible corporate practices, it says that two viscose factories in India and Indonesia owned by the Aditya Birla Group have seen conditions get “markedly worse”.
The sites produce viscose which is the third most commonly used material in the fashion industry.
The report also states that retailers Next, Asda, continue to work with the Aditya Birla Group despite the claims, however it is not specified which factories.
The report found that the areas around the two sites were found to be “strong smelling” and had “visibly red pollution”. People in the local communities are also reported to be suffering from serious health issues including cancer, tuberculosis and birth defects.
A further independent laboratory test found that an air sample from outside one of the factories contained 125 times the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guideline for carbon disulphide, a toxic chemical used in the production of viscose.
Natasha Hurley, campaign manager at Changing Markets, said: “Our investigation suggests that Aditya Birla Group is failing to live up to its sustainability claims. Brands buying from the company should look beyond the green spin to understand what is really happening on the ground, where local residents’ and workers’ lives are blighted by pollution on a daily basis.”
These practices were first highlighted in June 2017 in the Changing Markets Foundation’s original Dirty Fashion report, exposing the group which has previously been commended for its environmental record. The group has refuted all claims made in the report.