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HERISAU – Many of the world’s leading textile dye and chemical companies have signed an open letter to the Stichting ZDHC Foundation calling for a unified standard for the elimination of hazardous chemicals in the textile supply chain. Signatories include Archroma, Colourtex, DyStar, Huntsman, Jay Chemical, Protex, Pulcra, Rudolf and Tanatex.

In the letter, the businesses point to the proliferation of chemical standards and testing protocols which have increased complexity and raised costs along supply chains.

The signatories say they wish to actively engage with the ZDHC Foundation, in particular with the ZDHC Gateway Chemical Module and also as a ZDHC Contributor.

They add: “However, we would do so on the basis that the expectations outlined in this letter are fulfilled as we believe they will accelerate the industry towards the elimination of hazardous chemistry from within the textile value chain.

“If we come to a common understanding regarding our expectations, our proposal is that as of September 1 the signatories would join on a trial basis for a period of 12 months. At the end of this trial period we will review the progress made by ZDHC towards driving the necessary change and harmonisation of the industry towards the objective of ‘zero discharge of hazardous chemicals.’ If we are satisfied with the progress, we will further commit to a long-term partnership.”

The letter makes the point that individual brands have been seeking to differentiate their offerings by requiring “individualised” MRSLs (Manufacturing Restricted Substances List), complicating efforts and adding costs.

It says: “The signatories have concern regarding financial burden being placed on the industry by Brands who seek to differentiate their offering on the basis of an additional modified “individualised” MRSL. Our expectation is that safeguards are in place to prevent this risk of a proliferation of MRSL standards.”

The letter argues the bluesign system is the most encompassing of the current discharge reduction programs and that the ZDHC Foundation is the most appropriate platform for the industry to use toward harmonising discharge standards, testing and screening methodologies.

The ZDHC initiative launched in 2011 and the Stichting ZDHC Foundation followed in 2014.

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