Benetton Group’s commitment and the obtained progresses in eliminating hazardous substances are annually communicated through the publication of specific reports.
Respect for the environment and for consumer safety is put into practice thanks to case studies focusing on the replacement of hazardous substances with sustainable chemicals in the textile sector.
Since 2013 Benetton Group is engaged in publishing investigative reports and research that seek to promote a better understanding of the elimination progress trend.
Investigation Report – Wastewater Analysis
In line with its commitment to zero discharges, Benetton ask to all its suppliers involved in wet process for conducting investigations on the water effluents according to the ZDHC Guideline, by appointing certified third party laboratories, as indicated in the Detox Programme Guideline.
Data of wastewater analysis performed by Benetton’s suppliers have been analyzed by considering information disclosed in the ZDHC Gateway – Wastewater Module. It emerges that some hazardous chemicals are still present in discharged water and this could be associated either with the already presence in the incoming water, with the use of those substances in the process, or with impurities deriving from in chemicals or commodities.
Investigation Report – Phthalates
In line with the goal of completely eliminating hazardous chemicals from the entire supply chain, Benetton Group has banned the use of phthalates in all products and processes.
Thanks to the experience gained during decades, Benetton has been able to convey and improve the water based printing technique, training also those suppliers that were addressing to the plastisol for a simply question of “ease of use”. Benetton always preferred the water based inks because, in addition to be PVC and Phthalates free, they have what is called a “soft hand” once printed on material (one of the fundamental requirements for Benetton products): this means that the ink cannot be easily felt when touched by hand over the design. In this way, Benetton grants the use of completely PVC and Phthalates free inks complying with the most stringent ecological standards in the textile industry as well as the Benetton’s RSL.
Integrated assessment of manufacturing facilities’ and clothing’s chemical-toxicological impact.
The collaboration with the Department of Environmental Science, Informatics and Statistics of Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, continued in 2017 to follow-up the research titled “Environmental impacts research and smart monitoring strategy development focused on the Detox Programme” (2016).
The method to evaluate the chemical-toxicological impact of manufacturing facilities, used in the previous work, has been optimized and extended to assess the chemical-toxicological impact of clothing. The research is based on data coming from test performed on more than 150 facilities all over the world and more than 50,000 products.
Substitution Case Study
PFC’s free alternatives combined with plasma treatment for increasing the water repellency performances in textiles
Since 2013 Benetton, in line with its long-term sustainability program, recognizes the urgent need for eliminating industrial releases of all hazardous chemicals such as the PFCs, a category of man-made products to make materials oils and water resistant, that may affect human health and environment.
This study, published on July 2017 on the SUBSPORT DATABASE, demonstrates that by combining Atmospheric Plasma Treatment and PFCs free formulations it is possible to obtain a valid sustainable alternative to PFCs compounds. Joined together, these two components may guarantee a high repellency performance of textiles.
Environmental impacts research and smart monitoring strategy development focused on the Detox Programme.
As part of efforts to establish credible prioritization criteria for the hazardous chemicals elimination roadmap, in 2015 Benetton Group started a collaboration with the Department of Environmental Science, Informatics and Statistics of Ca’ Foscari University in Venice that provided all the data collected from the incoming, untreated and treated water analysis. The research involved 3 years of data from more than 100 facilities located in 10 different countries.
Investigation Report – PFCs
Within its commitment to zero discharges, Benetton Group banned Per- and Polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) from all industrial processes involving any product or materials.
Benetton Group asks all its suppliers to use only sustainable PFC-free chemicals. The Company conducted a one-year benchmark investigation whereby it analyzed the results of the intensive chemical screening activity carried out on raw materials, finished garments and wastewater.
To ensure compliance with its commitment and to support suppliers in a correct environmental management system, Benetton Group appointed external audit companies to conduct inspections aimed at identifying possible contamination sources.
Investigation Report – APEOs
Within its commitment to zero discharges, Benetton Group is committed to completely eliminating Alkyphenol ethoxylates (APEOs) from all its products and processes.
Benetton Group has carried out an intensive testing program to screen the supply chain and to identify materials, products categories, suppliers, processes and geographical areas of higher concern. Moreover, chemical-intensive manufacturing units/suppliers are audited by independent external experts, whose task it is to highlight and handle existing or potential risks of APEO contamination.
This investigation report focuses on the key findings of a three-month benchmark on materials, treatments and prints.
Substitution Case Study
A biodegradable, protein-based biopolymer to replace acrylic resins and their additives in textile printing.
This case study, available on the SUBSPORT DATABASE too, describes an alternative to acrylic resins used in textile printing. The use of acrylic resins is problematic since these are sensitizers and also since they require the use of additional additives that may also be problematic, such as alkylphenols, phthalates and organotins. Grafco Srl has developed an alternative polymer based on milk-protein that could replace the acrylic resins along with the required additives.