Tools and organizations

Below you will find different organizations who provide or work with different tools that can help to identify problematic chemicals in your supply chain.

13. marts 2018

Dansk Mode & Textil (DM&T)

DM&T is a Danish trade organization that represents more than 300 businesses. DM&T delivers advice to their members on networking, CSR, technology and environmental issues among other things.
Read more here.

Sustainable Apparel Coalition 

The centerpiece of the SAC is The Higg Index, a suite of ground-breaking assessment tools that empower brands, retailers, and manufacturers to measure their environmental-, social- and labor impacts at every stage of the life cycle and value chain, and then demonstrate the data in a standardized and simplified way. 

The Higg Index is a tool developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC). The Higg Index consists of three modules – the product, the brand and the facility modules.
Read more here.


MADE-BY works with fashion and textile brands who want to improve the full life cycle impact of their collections from raw materials to finished products and beyond. This support comes in the form of consultancy services, free, publicly available brand tools and a Scorecard system and MODE Tracker.
Read more here.


Making of Making by NIKE MSI (Materials Sustainability Index used in SAC’s Higg Index) is available online but can also be downloaded as an app. The tool ranks materials based on their environmental impact in four key areas: chemistry, energy, water and waste. The higher the score the smaller the environmental footprint of a given material. This tool is aimed at designers and creators to encourage sustainable product development in the apparel and footwear industries. 
Access the online tool here.
Download the app here.

The Leather Working Group

The Leather Working Group is the online resource for all stakeholders in the leather industry including brands, manufacturers, suppliers, NGOs and end users. 

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. It is the group's objective to work transparently, involving brands, suppliers, retailers, leading technical experts within the leather industry, NGOs and other stakeholder organizations.
Read more here.

AAFA – American Apparel & Footwear Association

The AAFA Restricted Substances List (RSL), first released in the summer of 2007, is the first of its kind. The list covers chemicals and other substances whose presence in a product is restricted through a government regulation or law. The list identifies the most restrictive iteration of that regulation worldwide. Every six months, the publication is reviewed, updated, and the latest version is made available free to the apparel and footwear industry.

To fully serve various segments of the apparel and footwear industry's global supply chain, AAFA is pleased to offer the AAFA Restricted Substances List in a variety of languages. Please note that translated RSLs will be released shortly following the release of the English version. The most current English version is always the prevailing document.
Read more here.

Kemikaliegruppen at Swerea IVF

Kemikaliegruppen at Swerea IVF – a forum to stay updated with current chemistry-related issues in the textile industry.

Kemikaliegruppen exists to disseminate the latest in chemical and environmental issues to member companies. Its aim is to convey the legal requirements and other information on chemicals in a comprehensible way as the information is used in companies' daily work with chemicals.

In the current situation (2015-09-21), over 100 member companies representing the textile industry and the electronics industry have access to the chemical group's database of risk chemicals relevant to their products. Kemikaliegruppen holds regular meetings where experience and knowledge can be spread regarding the current chemistry-related issues in products and production.

Kemikaliegruppen is Swedish-based in Gothenburg, with members from Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
Read more here.

Apparel and Footwear International RSL Management (AFIRM) Group

Leading brands in the apparel and footwear industry that participate in the Apparel & Footwear International RSL Management Group (AFIRM) are pleased to announce the publication of AFIRM’s Restricted Substance List (RSL) guidance for suppliers. In the past, suppliers in the apparel and footwear industry have requested that AFIRM develop a harmonised restricted substance list (RSL) that could be widely used within the supply chain. AFIRM’s RSL Guidance provides both the lowest limit as internally set by any AFIRM member brand and the corresponding test methods for commonly restricted substances in the apparel and footwear production process. For suppliers, some potential uses of the RSL Guidance include providing a tool for vendors to establish chemical management knowledge and processes, building base compliance with AFIRM member chemical restrictions, and providing a common base for testing products, which may be accepted by multiple AFIRM brands. AFIRM member companies determine and communicate to their vendors their testing requirements and acceptance of test reports.

In 2004, a group of companies began working to bring together several product chemistry, safety, and regulatory experts within the apparel and footwear industry. These companies formed the Apparel and Footwear International RSL Management (AFIRM) Working Group. Current membership includes adidas-Group, Carhartt, Collective Brands, Esprit, Gap Inc., Gymboree, H&M, Hugo Boss, Levi Strauss & Co., New Balance, Nike, Pentland, PUMA, s.Oliver, VF Corporation, and Warnaco. The mission of the AFIRM Group is to reduce the use and impact of harmful substances in the apparel and footwear supply chain.

The RSL Guidance document is available to the public for download at the AFIRM website: AFIRM Group

Suppliers at all levels of the apparel and footwear supply chain are encouraged to use the RSL Guidance as a reference for limits and testing methods of restricted substances found in apparel and footwear production processes. Translated versions of the document in multiple languages will be forthcoming, and AFIRM plans to update annually.
Find the list of all legislated substances here.

Chemistry dictionary

AFIRM Group has made a chemistry encyclopedia. Parts of it may be a little hard to understand without a little knowledge about chemicals, but it is a really good reference book.
Find it here.

The Environmental Protection Agency

The web page of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency provides a range of guidance regarding legislation on chemicals.
Read more here.

In order to guide importers, manufacturers or distributors of chemical substances or products, the Danish EPA has established a national REACH helpdesk in order to provide for advice to companies and other stakeholders on the obligations they may have under REACH. 
The Danish REACH helpdesk (in Danish).

In addition, the Danish EPA has a specific focus on hazardous substances in consumer products in the Chemicals Initiatives 2014-2017.
Read more here.

ChemSec Textile Guide

ChemSec is a NGO, which focuses on reducing the use of harmful chemicals and works in close dialogue with companies. ChemSec has released a textile guide that is a starting point for small and medium-sized textile companies to manage the chemicals present in their processes and products. The guide provides a systematic guidance for evaluating chemicals and helps to identify and prioritize chemical hot spots, which can be substituted. It uses a database with 6500+ substances from 21 different RSL/regulatory/NGO lists. The guide is simple and you do not need to be an expert to use it. It is free of charge and login is not needed.
Find the guide here.

Business guidance on phthalates

This guidance should help you as a buyer to check whether you buy articles with the phthalates of concern, and it examines the requirements you must meet if you market these articles. In addition, the guidance aims to give advice to voluntary effort by helping you to get started with the process of assessing whether the phthalates of concern can be avoided. The guidance provides instructions on what you can do and how the necessary dialogue with your supplier can be approached. Also, specific examples of the various steps in the process are provided.
Find the guide here.

Key2Green (in Danish)

Key2Green is a Chemistry Guide where you can find chemicals and information about which negative lists they are part of. If you need to learn about specific chemicals in textile production it is a good place to find knowledge.
Find the guide here.

Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) group

The ZDHC group is a group of major apparel and footwear brands and retailers that made a shared commitment to help leading the industry towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020.

The group puts a few good documents to the public. These include fact sheets on a number of harmful chemicals.

Questions and comments about the guideline can be directed to Louise Fredsbo Karlsson ( from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency.