ZDHC, the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals program, has added leather to its list of manufacturing restricted substances (MRSL). The new version of the MRSL list, which has been developed by the apparel and footwear brands that are supporting the program, establishes concentration limits for solvents, cleaners, adhesives, paints, inks, detergents, dyes, colorants, auxiliaries, coatings and finishing agents used during raw material production, wet-processing, maintenance, wastewater treatment, sanitation and pest control.
The ZDHC group is also calling for the development of a single set of guidelines for wastewater treatment in the textile industry and standardized analytical methods for monitoring the quality of wastewater.
A study made by the group showed the existence of 17 different regulations in 13 countries. Ten of those regulations apply to the textile industry. Honduras has no regulations. On the other hand, ZDHC noted that the guidelines published by individual brands or groups of brands are lagging behind those set by governments.
Adidas, Nike, New Balance, Li-Ning and Puma are among the sports brands that are supporting the ZDHC program. Jack Wolfskin is the only major individual outdoor company among the signatories of the ZDHC program, but many others are represented through the European Outdoor Group (EOG) and the Germany sporting goods industry federation (BSI).