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1 December 2012 | Anna Reynolds
The owner of clothing brand Zara will force its suppliers to publicly disclose data about chemical use during textile production, as part of its commitment to a toxic-free supply chain by 2020.
Parent group Inditex said its priority is to enforce an already existing ban on alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEOs) chemicals used in textiles. By the end of April 2013 it will have carried out an investigation across its supply base to ensure vendors are compliant. These findings will be reported to the public.
As well as eliminating the use of APEOs, it will impose a ban on perfluorocarbon chemicals and work with scientific partners to find safer alternatives.
The company hopes to cut out such chemicals by asking its suppliers to report on what they use. By the end of March 2013 at least 10 of its suppliers in China will disclose data of chemical use and by December 2013 this will have extended to a further 30. This will also apply to another 50 suppliers globally.
The ‘Zero Discharge’ commitment covers the other six brands owned by the Inditex Group, which includes Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Pull & Bear, Oysho, Uterque and Stradivarius.
Inditex says the approach will enable greater transparency of chemical use in both locations and individual facilities.
A spokesperson for the Inditex Group said it was taking a lead in the sector with a commitment that showed transparency and with the promotion of a research programme. “The research will assess the safest alternatives to reach cleaner industrial processes in the textile industry,” they said.
The company said it will enhance training and auditing across its supply chain as well as informing suppliers about the risks of chemical contamination.
Inditex’ chemical policy, developed jointly with the University of Santiago de Compostela, is in line with international legislation.