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Levi’s, Nike, H&M and C&A to Collaborate on Safer Textile Chemicals Under ZDHC

Levi Strauss & Co., Nike Inc., H&M and C&A have agreed to share and align their efforts surrounding safer textile chemistries as part of their work with the ZDHC Foundation.

The brands will coordinate future development of screened chemistry through ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals), which ZDHC said will accelerate its long-term strategy to implement a transparent process that promotes better chemistry alternatives and innovations.

ZDHC’s screened chemistry program identifies safer alternatives in the textile supply chain while eliminating hazardous chemicals. The organization said a screened chemistry approach is critical for ensuring human health and environmental impacts are fully evaluated before adopting alternative chemistries.

While the four retailers’ screened chemistry programs were developed separately, their core elements and methodologies are “remarkably similar” in their approach and ultimate goals, ZDHC said. To further develop and scale screened chemistry, ZDHC has established a dedicated Roadmap to Zero Program Task Team for Safer/Screened Chemistry.

The screened chemistry program will be aligned with the ZDHC MRSL (Manufacturing Restricted Substances List) approach, but aims to go beyond it by recognizing that the elimination of hazardous chemicals requires a clear process for identifying and evaluating alternatives to make sure they are less harmful. It also requires collaboration across stakeholder groups, since some chemicals will require innovation to achieve this goal.

In recognition of their work so far, Levi’s, Nike, H&M and C&A will form the core of the new ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Program Task Team and will invite contributors from other brands and partners to continue to drive the initiative.