Members of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) group have finalized and released a Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL) for the apparel and footwear industry.
The list addresses some 150 hazardous substances potentially used and discharged into the environment during the manufacturing process, not just substances that could be present in finished products, including: cleaners, solvents, adhesives, stabilizers, paints, inks, detergents, dyes, pigments, auxiliaries, coating and finishing agents used for wet-processing, maintenance, waste water treatment, sanitation and pest control.
The ZDHC MRSL is intended to help brands, their supply chains and the broader industry to adopt a harmonized approach to the control of hazardous substances.
While the list does not replace national environmental and workplace safety restrictions, ZDHC brands expect material suppliers and factories will communicate with their chemical suppliers to ensure that the listed substances are not used.
Natural leather and metal trim parts are excluded from the list.
The list was compiled after more than two years of discussion with brands and retailers who have committed to ZDHC, including Burberry, C&A, Levi Strauss, Gap, PVH and M&S. The ZDHC group was formed in 2011 to eliminate the release of hazardous substance throughout the production life cycle of apparel and footwear by 2020.