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Published on Sunday, 13 May 2018

Textile chemical firms give ZDHC ultimatum

Written by John Mowbray

AMSTERDAM – In an extraordinary move, nine leading textile chemical companies have voiced concerns the ZDHC Foundation may not fulfill its intention to drive the textile industry towards convergence around a single harmonised chemical management system and expect changes in return for their involvement going forward.

A joint letter to the ZDHC, signed by top executives at Archroma, Colourtex, DyStar, Huntsman, Jay Chemical, Protex, Pulcra, Rudolf and Tanatex, demands further clarification from the ZDHC on a range of issues such as the MRSL and Gateway Chemical Module before they can officially contribute as long-term ‘value chain affiliates’.

Although the signatories describe the ZDHC as the ‘preferred platform’ to assess compliance of dyes and chemical formulations, the signatories outline several expectations and concerns that need to be addressed. These include concerns about financial burdens related to certain apparel brands developing ‘individual’ manufacturing restricted substance lists (MRSLs) – a position which Ecotextile News agrees with, and has argued for, over the past few years.

The chemical companies also highlight how the ZDHC Gateway-Chemical Module could in theory be open to misuse, where brands use entry level compliance as: “a ‘fig leaf’ to legitimise non-compliant suppliers for their own marketing purposes.”

The signatories say they are still willing to actively engage with the ZDHC Gateway Chemical Module and as ZDHC contributors, but only on the basis that their concerns and expectations are fulfilled.

A deadline for a decision regarding on-going cooperation has been set for September 2018.


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