Key Milestones

H&M Group has strict restrictions on the use of chemicals and has been at the forefront of eliminating hazardous chemicals from production. Discover the key milestones in our journey towards Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals.


  • All 553 of our textile and leather suppliers enrolled in the ZDHC programme, achieving 99.9% ZDHC MRSL compliance for wastewater and 88% compliance for chemical inputs. 
  • To lead change in our industry, we successfully phased out the solvent DMFa from synthetic leather products. 
  • We set a strategy to phase out potassium permanganate (commonly used to distress denim) by 2023, identified safer alternatives using screened chemistry and advocated for the substance to be restricted at industry level.
  • We joined ChemSec to call for the end of use of toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS, used to make water and dirt repellent products). 


  • 100% of all our wet processing facilities in scope (within the textile and leather supply chain) are now enrolled in Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) programmes to measure hazardous substances used and emitted. This covers more than 600 facilities.
  • Adoption of ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL) 2:0, an industry list of restricted substances in production.
  • H&M Group joins a task team within ZDHC to develop and scale Screened Chemistry, a hazard-based method to assess best in class chemicals as industry standard.


  • As the demand for recycled material increases, H&M Group initiates a mapping of hazardous chemicals in textile waste streams, together with IKEA, the home furnishings group.
  • 30% of all our wet-processing facilities in scope are enrolled in ZDHC programmes to measure hazardous substances in the input and output. 


  • H&M Group adopts Screened Chemistry, a hazard-based method to assess best in class chemicals.
  • H&M Group sets a new H&M Chemical Vision and roadmap towards a toxic-free fashion future.
  • 8% of all our wet processing facilities in scope are enrolled in ZDHC programmes to measure hazardous substances in the input and output. 


  • H&M Group joins ChemSec, an independent, non-profit organisation committed to the development of sustainable chemicals use through the sharing knowledge, collaboration and practical tools.
  • H&M Group launches a new sustainability strategy.


  • Bureau Veritas and H&M Group start to develop a tool for us and our facilities to use to measure chemical usage and discharge, called BVe3.


  • H&M Group publishes the list of suppliers to increase the transparency within our supply chain.
  • PFAS, a group of chemicals often used as a water-resistant coating on clothes is banned by H&M Group.


  • H&M Group joins Roadmap To ZDHC, teaming up with other fashion and sports brands with the common mission to catalyse positive change in the discharge of hazardous chemicals across the industry.


  • H&M Group develops water-based adhesives for shoes to eliminate the use of hazardous solvents in shoe production.
  • The first H&M MRSL is released to further protect the health of customers, workers and the environment.


  • The Group joins the Apparel & Footwear International RSL Management Working Group (AFIRM), a brand-driven membership organisation with the mission to reduce the use and impact of harmful substances in the apparel and footwear supply chain.


  • H&M Group enforces a ban of the plasticiser PVC — a material often used in, for instance, raincoats or to achieve a lacquered vinyl look on clothing, shoes and accessories — due to its hazardous properties.


  • H&M Group publishes our first H&M Chemical Restriction List to make our products safer, improve working conditions and prevent damage to the environment.