Swiss-based Bluesign Technologies is to become a contributor to the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme which aims to substitute hazardous chemicals for safer ones in textiles and clothing production. It comes 17 months after Bluesign, which works throughout textile supply chains to approve chemicals, processes, materials and products that are safe for the environment, agreed to co-operate with ZDHC. The agreement will lead to Bluesign’s list of more than 12,000 approved chemical products from over 190 suppliers being added to the ZHDC Gateway, an online search tool that enables suppliers to evaluate the safety of chemicals used in production processes.

Jill Dumain, CEO of Bluesign Technologies, said: “We saw an opportunity to reduce costly duplicated efforts and provide the ‘best available technique’ and ‘best practice’ to overcome the complex challenges of the industry.” We are proud that the approach that Bluesign brought to the market 19 years ago will support the ZDHC initiative for the convergence of chemical management in our industry. This initiative provides clear value and an understanding of the possibilities when the industry works together towards the common good.”

Frank Michel, Executive Director of ZDHC, added: “Bluesign has supported us in the past with their expertise in creating our wastewater guidelines and they have been closely involved in the current MRSL update process.

“Both organisations are working complementarily in the same field to drive better chemistry and I’m very happy that we formalised this relationship now and have them on board as a ZDHC contributor.” Since 2000, Bluesign has used a scientific chemical assessment to evaluate the hazards of 25,000 chemical formulations to create what it describes as the first and most comprehensive positive list.

More 12,000 commercially available chemical products have been approved to produce textiles and leather. These products, which collectively make up the Bluesign Finder, will be recognised at level 3 in the ZDHC Gateway.

Bluesign is one of 11 new organisations to join ZDHC as contributors. The list also includes Archroma, DyStar, Huntsman Textile Effects, KISCO, Pulcra Chemicals, Rudolf Group, Tanatex Chemicals, Johnstons of Elgin, Marzotto Lab and Asia Pacific Rayon. “These organisations will work alongside us to spread the use of safer chemistry throughout the value chain. Their support and expertise will be invaluable in building and refining the tools that are helping the industry to transform,” said a ZDHC statement.

And three retailers and brands have signed up as the first official ‘Friends of ZDHC’. They include the Fast Retailing Co Ltd, one of the world’s largest apparel retail companies and owner of Uniqlo; German shoes and accessory maker Isa-traesko; and German outdoor clothing company, VAUDE Sport. “Having joined us as Friends, they will tap into ZDHC’s tools and other supports to promote their own safer chemical management,” added the ZDHC statement.