The group working under the zero discharge of hazardous chemicals (ZDHC) program in the apparel and footwear supply chain has released a ‘Manufacturing Restricted Substance List’ (MRSL). The list sets concentration limits for substances used in chemical formulations during the production of textile materials and trim parts, not just those substances that could be present in finished products. However, natural leather and metal trim parts are currently excluded.
The list has been put together after more than two years of collaboration with leading brands and retailers who have announced their commitment towards the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) group, They include names like Adidas, Burberry, Levi Strauss, Gap, H & M, Inditex, PVH and M&S.
The new restricted substance list is expected to help brands, supply chains and the broader industry to adopt a harmonised approach to phasing out/substituting hazardous substances potentially used and discharged into the environment during manufacturing and related processes. But the concentration limits are designed to eliminate the possibility of intentional use of listed substances and the ZDHC Group expects material suppliers and factories to communicate with their chemical suppliers to stop the use of the listed substances in chemical formulations above the established limits.
Chemicals on the list include substances for which there are existing safer alternatives, including ingredients potentially used in cleaners, solvents, adhesives, stabilizers, paints, inks, detergents, dyes, pigments, auxiliaries, coatings and finishing agents used for wet-processing, maintenance, waste water treatment, sanitation and pest control.
The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals group was formed in 2011 to eliminate the discharge of hazardous substances throughout the production life cycle of apparel and footwear products by 2020.