Coats’ Product Safety programme ensures that all products supplied to the customer are safe to use and do not contain any potentially allergenic or harmful substances. The programme is underpinned by rigorously enforcing our Coats Restricted Substance List (CRSL), which is now in its twelfth year of operation.
Our CRSL is drawn from the current legal regulations and directives in all of the countries in which we operate, as well as our customers’ and brands’ own restricted substances lists. It extends to some 800 chemicals and 160 restricted dyes and all of our suppliers are required to comply with it.
800+ chemicals covered by our CRSL
In 2016, we split the potentially hazardous substances into two separate lists to make our requirements clearer for our suppliers and thus make our Product Safety program more robust:
- A Coats Product Restricted Substance List (CPRSL), which states the absolute concentration limits that cannot be exceeded in our final products.
- A Coats Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (CMRSL) which defines the limits which our raw materials and process chemicals must meet before entering our manufacturing process
We also introduced a more restricted version of the CRSL for industrial products that don’t have end consumer contact, which focusses more on safety of our operators and those of our customers and environmental impacts.
In September we wrote to all of our chemical and raw material suppliers asking them to confirm compliance with the updated CMRSL, setting out the substances that are restricted or banned from all goods and materials sourced by Coats.
We have also taken on board the ‘Joint Roadmap to Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals’, published in November 2011 by several leading fashion brands and retailers such as Nike, adidas, Puma, Li Ning, C&A and H&M.
One of the goals set by this group is to have all 11 ‘priority chemicals’ eliminated or substituted from members’ products and their manufacture by 2020, and we are taking steps towards achieving this goal:
By 2012, we had placed a ‘Usage ban’ in our CRSL on all of these 11 hazardous chemicals. We worked with our suppliers who used some of these substances in the production of our process chemicals to first of all identify them in their base chemicals and intermediates, and then systematically purge them from their supply chain.
For example, in June 2012 we found very low, but detectable levels of one of these ‘priority chemicals’ – an alkyl phenol ethoxylate (APEO) – on one of our thread products. APEOs, although commonly found in washing and cleaning products, are becoming banned since they are endocrine disruptors in humans and animals. Even though the measured amount of APEO in this thread product was well below the current industry limits, we immediately tracked down the APEO source and worked with the raw material supplier to replace the non-compliant spin finish with an APEO-free alternative.
In 2014 we embarked on a project to replace all long chain perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) used in our water resistant products with less harmful ‘C6’ perfluorinated chemicals. Extensive trials were carried out on a number of products to achieve optimal performance and with no deterioration after prolonged use. We completed the progressive transition from C8 to C6 to C4-based PFCs before the end of 2015, thus, we have eliminated from our supply chain all traces of two of the most persistent carcinogens associated with water resistant textile finishes - Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
Now all of our thread and zipper products are APEO, PFOS and PFOA-free and there will be none detected in effluent from our facilities.
These are just some of the ways our CPRSL and CMRSL are setting industry standards.