Support continues to grow for the elimination of hazardous chemicals

Support continues to grow for the elimination of hazardous chemicals

Sri Lankan apparel and fabric manufacturing conglomerate MAS Holdings and certification body Oeko-Tex are among six new companies that have pledged a commitment to the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) group.

The ZDHC group is made up of leading global clothing and footwear brands including Adidas, Benetton, C&A, Gap Inc, H&M, Inditex, Levi Strauss & Co, M&S, Nike and PVH Corp, and is working to steer the industry towards a goal of reducing the discharge of harmful chemicals to zero by 2020.

MAS Holdings joins as the latest value-chain affiliate alongside the Quality Certification Institute for the Leather Sector (ICEC), Thai speciality chemical company Siam Pro Group, and TÜV SÜD, an international service corporation.

"We have identified responsible chemical management as a key focus of our sustainability plan and becoming part of the ZDHC programme is one more step towards creating a non-toxic future," says Sarinda Unamboowe, board director overseeing sustainable manufacturing at MAS. "Growing a business while growing a mandate for sustainability is a tough job and an even tougher act to follow. We believe sustainability needs to go beyond a CSR mandate and become a strategic core of the business. This approach means MAS goes beyond precaution, compliance and mere promotion of sustainability, and seeks long-term solutions in collaboration with all key stakeholders."

Meanwhile, the Fiber and Textile Chemicals Technology Division, a division of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), one of the world's leading technology R&D institutions, joins alongside Oeko-Tex as an ZDHC associate.

"Responsible hazardous chemical control is complex, and demands a holistic approach" says ZDHC executive director Frank Michel. "It's not enough to simply use one standard or tool, and industry collaboration, from all actors across the value chain, is essential to drive this agenda forward.

"Since January 2015, our contributor base has doubled, and I'm delighted that today we're continuing this trend. We're also welcoming our first contributors based in Sri Lanka and Thailand, further expanding our geographic scope."

With the addition of today's new companies, the total number of contributors to the ZDHC Programme now stands at 56.

As official contributors to the programme, all companies commit to working collaboratively on the development and implementation of ZDHC tools and to supporting the goal of widespread implementation of sustainable chemistry across the textile and footwear industries.

Last month The China Textile Information Center (CTIC) joined the ZDHC as a value-chain affiliate.

China's CTIC makes safer chemicals commitment