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German chemical suppliers, sporting goods sector develop safety program

German chemical suppliers and the sporting goods industry are working together on finding marketing opportunities for safe chemicals. Named Reach, the regulation increases transparency, cuts out not-so good competitors through restrictions and authorisations. Both chemical producers that supply to the textile sector and sporting goods trade associations are involved in the project.

The project aims to discover how to create a system that brings demand pull right up to the chemical suppliers in order to promote less toxic chemicals. The two most important factors are traceability of chemicals in the supply chain and knowledge about substances and processes. These two would enable brands and retailers to know what is happening in their supply chains.

The results will now feed into the Ask Reach IT tool for suppliers, which will help manufacturers supply information for the consumer app. Front-runner companies involved in the project will be able to test IT tools for traceability, to see whether they are appropriate for their needs and can be integrated into contracts.

However, the whole system works only when it has been fed from the very beginning. Chemical suppliers need to be transparent about the ingredients of their formulations. Companies can also use the research to inform their own internal policies.