Oeko-Tex has announced that the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Programme will now accept Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex certification as an indicator of conformance with the organisation’s Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) in connection with the ZDHC Gateway – Chemical Module.

The ZDHC’s MRSL covers chemical substances that are limited or banned from intentional use in the production of apparel and footwear materials and trim. Controlling or excluding the use of these substances supports the ZDHC’s mission of removing hazardous chemicals from the apparel and footwear value chain so that they do not harm workers, consumers, or the environment.

Since 1992, Oeko-Tex has worked to provide safer products by eliminating hazardous substances from the global textile supply chain. In January of this year, Oeko-Tex announced a partnership with ZDHC in order to collaborate with other leading brands and apparel and footwear sustainability advocates. The Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex certification programme provides a confidential mechanism for chemical suppliers to confirm that their chemical products are safer to use in manufacturing. With ZDHC’s announcement, chemical formulations that are Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex certified are recognised as conforming with the ZDHC MRSL.

“We understand that chemical suppliers face challenges. The industry, consumers, governments, and NGOs are asking for safer chemistries to be used in supply chains and that takes a degree of transparency. The Eco Passport programme serves as a trusted third party system to review formulations. We help chemical suppliers verify their formulations while safeguarding their intellectual property (recipes),” said John Frazier, Sr. Technical Director for Oeko-Tex in North America.

The Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex programme analyses a broad set of chemicals including colorants, scouring agents, adhesives, inks, pigments, and auxiliaries in a confidential, two-step process that confirms that the formulations and individual ingredients (CAS level chemicals) meet specific criteria for sustainability, safety, and regulatory compliance.

Chemical formulations are checked against the comprehensive Oeko-Tex list of substances of concern and then verified by laboratory evaluation to ensure that they do not contain unsafe contaminants. Compounds that pass these two phases are granted the Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex certification.