In conjunction with its recently published Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL), the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) group has shared a Research List of substances it would like to see phased out from the apparel production process.
The Research List focuses on materials that do not have safer alternatives for all uses in the market. Substances include chemical intermediate Ethylbenzene, solvents N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMAC); Dimethyl formamide; N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF); Methanol; Toluene; Phenol; 2-(2-methoxyethoxy)-ethanol; and 2-methoxypropanol.
Short-chain fluorinated polymers and related substances are also of concern. ZDHC is looking for PFC-free durable water repellant substitutions which can provide oil and stain repellency, but noted there is little research available on these technologies.
By encouraging key stakeholders to develop alternatives for chemicals on the Research List, the ZDHC Group said it hopes to move these chemicals more rapidly to the MRSL for supply chain phase out.
Earlier this month the MRSL exposed a list of approximately 150 hazardous substances, spanning cleaners and detergents to dyes and adhesives, that could potentially cause harm to the environment during the manufacturing process.
Neither list replaces national environmental and workplace safety restrictions, but ZDHC brands, which include Burberry, C&A, PVH and Levi Strauss, are encouraged find alternatives to these substances.