As part of our Environmental Sustainability Programme we have strict chemical management requirements for our products that comply with EU and US legislation. We also look for opportunities to go beyond EU and US legislation to reduce the environmental impact of the textile manufacturing processes. Our suppliers agree to adhere to our standards as part of the terms and conditions of doing business with us.
We actively engage with our suppliers, chemical experts, other retailers and organisations to help bring about sustainable change. Primark’s approach is to empower our suppliers and their factories by providing them with an assessment programme and screening methodology that supports continuous improvement.
Primark provides suppliers and their factories with formal training, tools and support on Primark’s standards to make improvements throughout the manufacturing process including washing, dyeing and printing, in order to ensure Primark’s standards are met.
As part of Primark’s chemical management requirements we have two restricted substance lists, a Product Restricted Substance List (PRSL) and a Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL).
Our PRSL details the limits for chemicals found in the materials used to make our products. Our MRSL details all the chemicals that we require suppliers not to use in their manufacturing processes, including chemicals used for dyeing and washing.
The Primark PRSL and MRSL guidelines are issued to all our suppliers and their factories.
To support suppliers in their compliance to our MRSL, we provide them with a Chemical Inventory Resource to check the use of chemical products in their manufacturing processes.
Primark is working towards eliminating certain chemicals from our global supply chain by 2020. In conjunction with our own chemical management requirements we also signed up to Greenpeace’s Detox commitment in February 2014.
You can view a copy of our Greenpeace Detox commitment here.
Our progress reports are available here:
We have also produced case studies of how certain chemicals can be substituted with safer alternatives.
We have been working with chemical experts and our main suppliers, looking closely at how chemicals are used in the washing and dyeing process and conducting waste water testing to verify this. This is to understand current levels of chemical compliance and to understand current practices within dyeing mills and washing units. A copy of our different pilot investigations are available below: