GREENPEACE PROTESTS: Milan Fashion Week started Wednesday with a Greenpeace protest to demand toxic-free fashion. The activists caught the attention of tourists and shoppers in the storied Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, in front of the Duomo, with their campaign #TheKingIsNaked. Activists swung from the dome of the Galleria to hang a large poster with the words: “Beautiful fashion, ugly lies? #TheKingIsNaked.”

In its last report, Greenpeace analyzed different products, especially for children, that were manufactured by major luxury brands such as Versace, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, Giorgio Armani and Hermès. The report stated that these products allegedly release hazardous chemicals toxic for health and the environment.

This story first appeared in the February 20, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Chiara Campione, campaigner of Greenpeace Italy, said the demonstration was set up “to ask Italian brands, especially Versace, because it has the highest level of hazardous chemicals in its products, to publicly commit to eliminate harmful substances from the various stages of production. Milan’s fashion week is just beginning, and probably there will be other protests in these days and also maybe during Paris’ fashion week, because also French brands are involved in the Greenpeace report.”

Addressing these allegations, Gianni Versace SpA said “to reassure [customers] that it has put in place a system of mapping and selection of suppliers based on rigorous production organization. (Reach — Regulation European Union no. 19071 2006 as later modified).” Furthermore, the Italian fashion house declared it “operates in compliance with the regulations of textile products and that, within its own systems of quality management, it continues to research raw materials and sustainable technology solutions with requirements even more stringent than under the current laws, renewing its commitment to the sustainability of the planet.”

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