Chemicals and wastewater

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.

Target is a member of Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC), 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, we are working to implement the ZDHC manufacturing restricted substance list (MRSL) with all wet processing facilities used in the production of our 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.

Implementing the MRSL, and ensuring compliance, is an important first step to improve visibility and controls on chemicals used in production and to identify opportunities to minimise or restrict hazardous substances used in production.

By adopting the industry recognised ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines, that defines the standard for wastewater discharge and sludge, we can monitor the journey to meeting our commitment.

Our progress


Target (as part of Kmart Group) has developed a phased implementation roadmap to meet our ZDHC compliance requirements, with our current focus on the wet processing facilities used by our strategic suppliers (vertical and non-vertical).

As of March 2021, Kmart Group has registered 87% of strategic supplier vertical wet processors onto the ZDHC Gateway platform, with 80% reporting wastewater test results (ZDHC ClearStream) and 67% reporting chemical inventory MRSL compliance (ZDHC InCheck). We are now engaging with these facilities to enrol them into the “ZDHC Supplier to Zero” programme.

Kmart Group has also registered 65% of strategic supplier non-vertical processing facilities onto ZDHC Gateway, with 55% reporting wastewater test results on to the platform.

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