In December 2012, Esprit signed a commitment with the Greenpeace Detox Campaign to eliminate 11 classes of chemicals from the textile supply chain.
To help realize this commitment, we became an active member of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group (ZDHC), working alongside 21 like-minded industry peers to develop the tools and protocols to empower the entire supply chain to eliminate toxic chemical discharges. The long-term aim of the ZDHC Group’s ‘Roadmap to Zero’ is zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020. In January 2017 and September 2017 we published reviews that give an overview of what has been already achieved and our targets for the future.
A first step toward the target is the Manufactured Restricted Substances List (MRSL) in July 2014 which Esprit fully adopted. To support our suppliers in the implementation of the MRSL, we developed the RSL & MRSL Supplier Guideline. This guideline helps to understand the implications of both, RSL and MRSL.
For an ongoing update of our RSL & MRSL beyond the ZDHC scope, we developed a methodology to evaluate chemicals that are used for the fabrication of our products. Another important step happened in December 2014: Since then, we have eliminated poly- and perfluorinated carbons (PFCs) in the manufacturing process of our water-repellent products. PFCs are used for producing water-repellent surfaces on garments and decompose very slowly. They damage the environment and the health of people and animals.
With ongoing testing we seek to ensure that the manufacturing process of all Esprit products remains free of PFC chemicals.
In FY 15/16, we conducted a chemical assessment of our Tier 2 suppliers to research PFC-free alternatives that can be implemented in the manufacturing process of Esprit’s products. Esprit’s Fabric Management Team visited all 17 facilities that make water repellent products for Esprit. Our audit protocol focused on proper storage and labeling of chemicals, availability of safety data sheets for all chemicals, workspace cleanliness, marked escapes and chemical management training for employees. After the audit, the mills received a Corrective Action Plan (CAP), which defined the areas of improvement and after another four weeks, our Fabric Management team conducted a second round of audits. With this ongoing audit process we seek to ensure that the manufacturing process of all Esprit products is and will remain free of PFC chemicals. The audits were generally successful: sixteen mills have already reached an advanced level, while one mill is ranked at mid-level. Find more details about our PFC program here.