United States apparel company Levi Strauss & Co. has partnered with international testing services Hohenstein, overhauling Levi’s chemical screening methods to help their materials supply chain meet the apparel industry best practices for chemical use.

“‘The result is a program that goes beyond a risk management approach and provides a roadmap for companies to eliminate and prevent the introduction of chemical hazards in the supply chain,’” according to Levi in Environment + Energy Leader online.

The company also stated on their website this year that they remain committed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement environmental guidelines, ratified in 2016.

Levi’s current chemical safety strategy combines their own Screened Chemistry open-source program with Hohenstein’s Oeko-Tex Eco Passport chemical product certification program to meet the environmental criteria of the industry-led Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Foundation’s Roadmap to Zero Programme.

Levi’s Screen Chemistry program both examines chemicals to prevent possibly hazardous substances from entering their supply chain, and offers more environmentally-friendly alternatives.

Hohenstein’s Oeko-Tex Eco Passport certification helps ensure that substances used in the textile and leather industry adhere to governmental requirements and do not endanger humans.

Inspired by Greenpeace, ZDHC’s Roadmap to Zero was originally implemented in 2011 with a goal to eliminate hazardous chemicals in the apparel industry by 2020. As of 2019, more than 150 of the industry’s brands, manufacturers, chemical suppliers and more collaborate in the initiative to some degree.

Encouraged by growing industry participation in their sustainable chemical management framework, as well as ZDHC’s development of an industry-standard Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL), ZDHC indefinitely extended Roadmap to Zero, starting with a 10-year strategic plan that fosters international developments.

Roadmap to Zero participants include Target, Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton (LVMH), PVH Corp., chemical innovator Stahl Holdings B.V., and many more.

Written by: Nicole Foulke