Kmart Group - Chemicals Safety and water

Kmart Group expanding its work to ensure safe chemical use in its supply chain

Minimising and restricting chemicals used in production, such as dyes, colourants and solvents, is important to ensure product safety and to reduce risk to water systems, which can be impacted by the release of hazardous substances. Managing this risk is particularly critical in the production of apparel and textile products given the high use of water in the washing and dyeing process.

Kmart Group, via its retail businesses Kmart and Target Australia, is a member of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) program, a coalition of fashion retailers and brands, value chain affiliates and associates working to ensure safe and responsible management of chemicals in the global textile, leather, apparel and footwear value chain.

As part of this alliance, Kmart Group is working to implement the ZDHC manufacturing restricted substance list (MRSL) with all wet processing facilities used in the production of Kmart Group own-brand clothing, towel and bedding products. The ZDHC MRSL provides retailers and suppliers with a harmonised approach to managing chemicals during the processing of raw materials. The ZDHC MRSL achieves this by providing a clear list of priority chemicals and specifying the maximum concentration limit of each substance.

As of March 2023, 220 wet processing facilities had registered with ZDHC and connected with Kmart Group through the ZDHC Gateway portal, an increase of 70 facilities from one year ago. Of these 220 facilities, 114 are in full compliance with both ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines and MRSL v2.0.

Previously, most facilities in full compliance were from Bangladesh, with a small number from India, China, Pakistan and Vietnam. In the last year, MRSL compliance has increased in all manufacturing regions. Kmart Group publishes progress of its wet processors on Detox Live, which shows companies that meet MRSL Wastewater Guidelines and those still with work to do on corrective action. Access to the full results of Kmart Group wet processing facilities, such as test reports, can be accessed by searching the Institute of Public & Environment Affairs (IPE) website.

Kmart Group will continue to expand the scope of this program, with a focus on including man-made cellulosic fibre suppliers.