Turkish denim manufacturer Orta Anadolo has joined forces with Garmon Chemicals to implement the GreenScreen chemical hazard screening methodology on denim fabrics.

The two companies used the Amsterdam Denim Days event last week to announce the launch. The pair say they have pioneered "a successful breakthrough approach" to new environmentally-friendly denim materials.

GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals is a method for assessing and screening chemical hazards developed by the NGO Clean Production Action (CPA), with the ultimate aim of identifying safer chemicals. Garmon Chemicals claims to be the first company to have obtained GreenScreen certification on a large number of its products.

By using GreenScreen, companies can rank chemicals and understand why some alternatives are more or less preferable. This is designed to help them make more informed decisions, reduce their business risk and promote innovation.

"At Garmon we want to change the paradigm and believe that, in order to meet our customers' expectations, better insight into chemical formulations is needed, rather than focusing on which chemicals to restrict," Garmon marketing executive Alberto De Conti told delegates at the show.

The methodology has been adopted in different fields already, including electronics with Hewlett Packard and Sony, but Nike is the only apparel player to have adopted it to date. Orta Anadolo will be the first denim firm to do so.

"We are moving from something transient to something solid that is here to stay," De Conti explained. "It means we are taking Greenscreen, the biggest and most demanding toxicology standard that is known in the world and we are putting it to fashion. If, as a brand, you embrace this, you become an ambassador of a new philosophy."

Greenscreen is not yet known in apparel in the way it should be, De Conti says, and it is here where "work needs to be done". The trademark is available to brands.

Method
Step 1 - Assessing and classifying a product’s chemical hazards involves research and data collection on 18 human and environmental health endpoints coupled with expert judgement to classify each hazard as ranging from Very High (vH) to Very Low (vL). GreenScreen is applicable to single chemicals or more complex mixtures and polymeric materials.

Step 2 - Applying the GreenScreen benchmarks. Each benchmark is determined by analysing specific combinations of hazard classifications. The benchmarks were developed to reflect hazard concerns by governments nationally and internationally. For example, if a chemical is a GreenScreen Benchmark 1, it has hazard criteria that align with the definition of a substance of very high concern (SVHC) under REACH.

Step 3 - The GreenScreen method helps support more informed decision making about the use of chemicals in products and processes. The benchmark scores provide a high level indicator and the Hazard Summary Table provides more specific information. This can be used to guide product design and development, chemical and material procurement, risk management, and workplace safety.

Click on the following links to read more from this month's Amsterdam Denim Days event: