Green Screen for Safer Chemicals

GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals is a method for comparative Chemical Hazard Assessment (CHA) that can be used for identifying chemicals of high concern and safer alternatives. It is used by industry, government and NGOs to support product design and development, materials procurement, and as part of alternatives assessment to meet regulatory requirements. GreenScreen® can also be used to support environmentally preferable product procurement tools including standards, scorecards and eco-labels.

An introduction to the method is available through this webinar: Title: GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals: Applications and New Developments http://www.greenscreenchemicals.org/resources/entry/greenscreen-for-safer-chemicals-applications

The GreenScreen® List Translator is an abbreviated version of the full GreenScreen® method that can be automated.  It is based only on the hazard lists that inform the GreenScreen®method.  The GreenScreen® List Translator maps authoritative and screening hazard lists, including GHS country classifications, to GreenScreen® hazard classifications.  It can quickly rule out known chemicals of concern and help to identify those chemicals that are best suited for a full GreenScreen® assessment.

How it Works

GreenScreen® Guidance and Method Documents are publicly available for free: http://www.greenscreenchemicals.org/method/greenscreen-list-translator

There are a number of initiatives that have published GreenScreens®. Some are available for free, others only commercially. For more details see: http://www.greenscreenchemicals.org/method/repositories-of-verified-and-unverified-assessments

GreenScreen® List Translator software is only commercially available, although some of the vendors offer very competitive rates.


AFIRM Supplier RSL Toolkit

AFIRM is a forum to advance the global management of restricted substances in apparel and footwear, communicate information about RSL to the supply chain, discuss concerns, and exchange ideas for improving RSL management.

The forum provides resources for sustainable, self-governing Restricted Substance List (RSL) implementation across the footwear and apparel supply chain. It is a collaborative effort by brands such as Asics, Nike, Pentland, Esprit, GAP and others.

Link to the toolkit: http://www.afirm-group.com/final toolkit copy/AFIRMToolkitOct08.doc


Substitute It Now (SIN) List

The SIN (Substitute It Now!) List is an NGO driven project to speed up the transition to a world free of hazardous chemicals.

The SIN List 2.1 consists of 626 chemicals that ChemSec has identified as substances of very high concern based on the criteria established by the EU chemical regulation, REACH. The chemicals on the SIN List are being used in everything from detergents and paints to computers and toys, sometimes in high levels. The SIN List is an important tool for speeding up the REACH legislative process and giving guidance to companies. It is based on a straightforward concept: substitute hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives. It’s ambition is to be a fast track to a toxic-free world.

SIN list: http://w3.chemsec.org/


ZDHC Manufacturers Restricted Substance List (MRSL)

The ZDHC MRSL will assist brands, their supply chains and the broader industry to adopt a harmonised approach to the control of hazardous substances used to process textile and trim materials in apparel and footwear. The MRSL should be communicated to raw material suppliers, including wet-processing facilities and sub-contractors and factories assembling or manufacturing garments and footwear.

Brands should make sure that material suppliers and factories will communicate with their chemical suppliers to ensure that the listed substances are not present in chemical formulations at a level that is above established limits.


Note: Natural leather and metal trim parts are excluded from the scope of this MRSL version.


Made-By wet processing standards comparison

Wet processing refers to the textile process where products are pre-treated, dyed, printed and finished through a liquid-based process. During these treatments, large quantities of water, energy and (hazardous) chemicals are consumed. There is a multitude of standards and systems available in the market but it is unclear for most fashion companies what the differences between them are and how they can be used to make improvements in their wet processing supply chains in the area of water, energy and chemicals use.

This overview has been developed as an objective guide, developed in collaboration with the managing bodies themselves, providing a practical and comparative overview that enables brands to determine which standards are most applicable in their supply chains.

Link: http://www.made-by.org/consultancy/tools/wet-processing-tool/


SAC Higg Index

The Higg Index, currently in version 2.0, is a suite of sustainability assessment tools that anyone can get started with right away.  These assessments, called modules, evaluate impacts through three different lenses: Facility, Brand, and Product. The Higg Index is primarily an indicator based assessment tool for apparel and footwear products.  The index asks practice-based, qualitative questions to gauge environmental sustainability performance and drive behaviour for improvement.

All Higg Index content is open-source: free and available to the public.  Non-members, including the general public, may access Higg Index 1.0 and 2.0 content in Excel for free by downloading them here: http://www.apparelcoalition.org/access/


Made-By Environmental Benchmark for Fibres

With the aim of guiding designers and production managers to choose sustainable alternatives to materials currently widely used, MADE-BY has created a benchmark that compares the environmental impact of the most commonly used fibres in the garment manufacturing industry. By looking at the production process of natural and man-made fibres and what human and environmental impact they have, MADE-BY has ranked 28 fibres into five classifications based on six parameters. This benchmark is updated on an annual basis in order to keep up-to-date with the latest developments and technologies in the market.

Consult the benchmark and download the research summary it is based upon: http://www.made-by.org/consultancy/tools/environmental/


Leather Working Group (LWG)

The objective of this multi-stakeholder group is to develop and maintain a protocol that assesses the environmental compliance and performance capabilities of tanners and promotes sustainable and appropriate environmental business practices within the leather industry. The group seeks to improve the tanning industry by creating alignment on environmental priorities, bringing visibility to best practices and providing suggested guidelines for continual improvement.

The group has published the following resources:


Made-By Wet Processing Benchmark:

The MADE-BY Wet Processing Benchmark uses actual data to bring transparency and drive change. Using field data from factories around the world, it illustrates the sustainability of common wet processing techniques and applications in terms of water use, energy use, and potential chemical or safety hazards. Because many factors can vary during implementation, a range has been used to show actual efficiency as achieved by factories under real production circumstances. The techniques listed are not necessarily substitutes for one another; rather, this tool can help a company to understand its efficiency compared to industry averages. Further detail on the methodology and the assumptions can be found in the accompanying report.

Consult the benchmark, and download the research summary it is based upon: http://www.made-by.org/consultancy/tools/wet-processing-tool/.


Swedish Textile Water Initiative (STWI) - Guidelines for Sustainable Water Use in Textiles and Leather

The Sweden Textile Water Initiative (STWI) started in 2010 as a joint project between textile and leather retail companies in Sweden, together with Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). In September 2014, STWI launched the second version of its guidelines for sustainable water use in textiles and leather manufacturing processes, as well as an upgraded short summary of these guidelines. The upgraded version incorporates tools to help factories, brands and other potential users of the guidelines apply them practically in their facilities and operations.

For more details, consult the STWI website here.

You can download the summary and the guidelines directly below:


Textile Exchange - Content Claim Standard (CCS)

The Content Claim Standard is a chain of custody standard that provides companies with a tool to verify that one or more specific input materials are in a final product. It requires that each organisation along the supply chain take sufficient steps to ensure that the integrity and identity of the input material is preserved. It does not validate any claims about a product beyond the amount of a specific material that is in it. The standard does not limit which type of input material may be claimed, and therefore has broad application potential.



Standards for ethical sourcing of duck and geese down

Two organisations have released standards that allow companies to ensure that the down in their products comes from ethically treated geese.

Textile Exchange - Responsible Down Standard (RDS):

NSF International - Global Traceable Down Standard (GTDS):


Textile Exchange - Standards for Recycled Materials

Recycled Claim Standard (RCS):

The RCS is as a chain of custody standard to track recycled raw materials through the supply chain. The standard was developed through work by the Materials Traceability Working Group, part of the OIA's Sustainability Working Group. The RCS uses the chain of custody requirements of the Content Claim Standard (see above).

Global Reycling Standard V3.0 (GRS):

The desired effect of the GRS is to provide brands with a tool for more accurate labeling, to encourage innovation in the use of reclaimed materials, to establish more transparency in the supply chain, and to provide better information to consumers. The GRS uses the chain of custody requirements of the Content Claim Standard (see above).

Unlike the RCS, the GRS also encompasses environmental requirements.


Textile Exchange - Organic Content Standard (OCS)

The OCS relies on third-party verification to verify that a final product contains the accurate amount of a given organically grown material. It does not address the use of chemicals or any social or environmental aspects of production beyond the integrity of the organic material. The OCS uses the chain of custody requirements of the Content Claim Standard (see above).