The ZDHC Chemical Gateway is a simple online search tool to help firms select compliant textile chemicals

The ZDHC Chemical Gateway is a simple online search tool to help firms select compliant textile chemicals

An upcoming conference on hazardous chemical control and sustainable manufacturing will provide delegates with a first opportunity to try out the new ZDHC Chemical Gateway, an online portal to help firms select compliant textile chemicals.

Formerly called the ZDHC Chemical Registry, the ZDHC Chemical Gateway is being developed by the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) group, and is thought to be the world's first database of safer chemistry.

Its aim is to help apparel and footwear brands, suppliers and chemical producers make better sourcing decisions by offering a quick and easy way to assess products against the ZDHC Programme's Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL), which sets limits on the use of key chemicals in the manufacturing process. 

The simple online search tool will show the level to which a chemical buyer can be confident a product conforms with the ZDHC MRSL. This measure is based on third-party product accreditation standards and options available in the market.

The portal had been due to launch in August, but the ZDHC group says it is currently being refined with input from selected companies testing the platform to ensure it's effective and scalable.

During the 'ZDHC-CNTAC Conference on Hazardous Chemical Control & Sustainable Manufacturing' in Shanghai on 8 November, up to 1000 suppliers will be invited to engage with the platform.

Following this event, in late November, up to 30 suppliers will be invited to participate in the platform's final stage of testing.

"Creating this sort of system doesn't happen overnight," says ZDHC executive director Frank Michel, "but it will be invaluable in providing clear, easily-accessible information on whether a chemical conforms with the ZDHC MRSL.

"We will be inviting companies to apply to volunteer in this final stage of testing, and will be looking for a range of companies – from small regional suppliers, to larger multinationals."

The ZDHC Gateway will be made available to the public early 2017.

The ZDHC Programme is a collaboration of over 20 leading brands working to eliminate hazardous chemicals from the textile and footwear value-chain, while CNTAC is an industry federation that represents all textile related industries in China. In May it launched its Chemicals Stewardship Initiative 2020 to improve chemical management across the textile value chain and minimise adverse effects of chemicals on human health and the environment.

Click on the following link for registration details: 'ZDHC-CNTAC Conference on Hazardous Chemical Control & Sustainable Manufacturing'.