ITL (International Trimmings and Labels) is a global apparel and retail labelling products and solutions provider, who partners with retailers, brands and garment manufacturers worldwide to provide labels and packaging solutions that help brand, sell, identify, embellish and distribute garments globally. With over 35 years in industry; as a purposeful business with social and environmental responsibility at the centre of their operations; ITL wholly owns their global factories. This enables ITL to continuingly innovate sustainable products and solutions aligned with ITL operationally and their customers’ business goals. As standard within the manufacturing industry, using chemicals occurs in production, with various inks, solvents and substances used to clean machines.
Manually using spreadsheets and crosschecking through CAS numbers in the ZDHC MRSL is extremely challenging. Considering there are a few thousand chemicals on the ZDHC MRSL, it was not feasible to ensure accuracy manually, when crosschecking the monthly chemical usage; hence ITL recognised the need to automate the process and align for both apparel brand and retailer industry standards. As part of their on-going strategic initiative for operational sustainability, ITL decided to voluntarily demonstrate conformance to the ZDHC MRSL and took action to implement best practices in chemical management.
Therefore, ITL decided to incorporate CleanChain into their day-to-day operations. Furthermore, ITL sought visibility into their chemical inventories and the ability to conduct ZDHC performance In-Check reports. They engaged with their facilities and evolved their existing inventory format to align with the CleanChain platform. In addition to support a unified roll out, CleanChain and ITL conducted training sessions ensuring everyone understood how to upload, match inventories and how to add chemicals onto the CleanChain library, using the Safety Data Sheets (SDSs). As a result, all of their facilities can now upload their inventories and match their chemical products in the library, giving ITL full visibility into ZDHC MRSL conformance.
Using Clean Chain’s solution, ITL had a complete view of the chemicals they were using globally, including their origin, quantities as well as clarity on any potential non-conformant chemicals. This process provided an opportunity to communicate with their chemical suppliers and push for certain chemicals to be certified and registered on the ZDHC gateway, helping to drive conformance with current suppliers or swap out suppliers or chemicals for ZDHC Level 1, 2 or 3-certified alternatives. Dedicated sustainability champions at each ITL factory are now responsible for compiling the monthly inventory of usage for all their chemicals and uploading that onto the CleanChain platform to ensure that everything is matched. This also enables them to examine previous chemical inventory lists and start to identify areas for improvement.
With CleanChain’s solution, in addition to operational sustainability benefits for ITL and their customers; evolving into this level of conformance has driven cost savings and enabled ITL to persuade supply partners to become more conformant. This influences and leverages their value chain compliance overall which benefits ITL’s clients also. CleanChain continues to deliver a solution that connects with ITL’s data and measurement methodology, which is at the heart of ITL’s global sustainability strategy.
ITL facilities have made meaningful progress across the board from the start of 2022, through the input and support from the CleanChain platform and team. In Vietnam for example, ITL have achieved a significant increase in their compliance with the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) guidelines, successfully improving their chemical conformance to 73% in 2022.
It is important to note that the remaining 27% of chemicals in ITL’s Vietnam facilities does not necessarily indicate non-compliance with the ZDHC MRSL. Instead, ITL and CleanChain are actively implementing processes to certify and make these chemicals available within the platform for complete transparency for all their stakeholders.
This significant progress brings the facilities closer to ITL’s ambitious target of 100% ZDHC MRSL conformance set for 2025.
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