TÜV Rheinland Blog - Insights from Asia and Africa

MRSL Matters

Posted by TUV Rheinland on Aug 17, 2021 5:37:57 PM
TUV Rheinland

Fashions come and go. But these days, looking good isn’t good enough. Neither is trying to “greenwash” away the environmental impact of a garment or leather product.

Chemical manufacturers play a crucial role in realizing the fashion industry’s sustainability ambitions – making it safer and sustainable with proof of ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) MRSL (Manufacturing Restricted Substance List) Conformance (Level 1-2-3).

Stakeholders are now demanding independent verification that apparel is manufactured safely in a resource-efficient manner. For an increasing number of brands, buyers, market regulators and environmentally savvy end-user customers, the most important step in that process is demonstrating that the chemicals used during the production process and waste water discharge conform to MRSL requirements. 


Strategic Advantages for Key Stakeholders


Benefits of MRSL Conformance

  • Chemical Producers
    • Provide assurance that chemicals sold in the market are fully MRSL-compliant.
    • Eliminate confusion, accelerate sales cycles and increase market demand.


  • Brands, Manufacturers & Mills
    • Provide proof that the raw materials in the production process are safe-to-use and fully compliant with the relevant standards.
    • Create a comprehensive chemical inventory for a totally transparent, trackable and traceable supply chain.


Partnering with TÜV Rheinland offers seamless access to reports you need to achieve a ZDHC ChemCheck report via ZDHC Gateway.


Seamless access to reports


The pace of MRSL adoption is accelerating globally. Thousands of companies have already conformed to MRSL, and many more are working to embrace the ZDHC vision of a safer and more sustainable future for the textiles, apparel and leather industry.

As of July 2021, the number of MRSL-compliant chemical manufacturers included more than 1,000 chemical companies producing over 35,000 individual chemical products.


The number of MRSL-compliant chemical manufacturers



MRSL cuts out complexity and costs, and increases chemical management convenience across the board.

Factories and other stakeholders can quickly cross-check supplier claims against the certified ZDHC Gateway Chemical Module information, to confirm that a chemical conforms to safety standards, or reject it and search for a safer alternative. The result is a precise understanding and tight management of all chemical inputs.


What is MRSL?

A critical component of the ZDHC’s “Roadmap to Zero” initiative, MRSL (Manufacturing Restricted Substances) is a chemical management game changer.

Unlike outdated approaches like PRSL (Product Restricted Substances List) restrictions which only apply to finished products, MRSL conformance starts right at the beginning with procurement. Hazardous substances are identified and eliminated from the manufacturing process before they have a chance to cause problems downstream.


Reaping Long Term Green Benefits

  • Advantages for Suppliers / Textile Mills
    MRSL conformance makes achieving the highest score in any chemical management audit significantly easier – whether it is Higg Index, amfori BEPI or GOTS. Certainty about the chemicals used helps to prevent any problematic substances from entering the facility at source, thus reducing the need to treat and clean-up effluent water downstream.

    Covering every chemical formulation in use within the walls of a manufacturing facility – including those used to clean the premises and production equipment – a MRSL-friendly approach protects both the workers inside the plant and the environment outside.


  • Advantages for Brands
    MRSL conformance also assures brands, regulators and retail customers alike that key chemicals used in the production process is safe and sustainable. The result is a massive “green win” for companies and our planet.


  • Advantages for Chemical Formulators
    Lastly, MRSL conformance allows chemical formulators to demonstrate their efforts to develop greener and cleaner chemistry at source, which ultimately enhances sustainability for the entire fashion industry.


One-stop Solution for MRSL Conformance Services

Proving each of the 3 levels of MRSL-compliance calls for the credibility that only an independent testing and certification partner such as TÜV Rheinland can deliver.

TÜV Rheinland is one of the few ZDHC-accredited chemical management solution providers capable of providing the full range of Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 testing/assessment for the latest ZDHC MRSL standards.

One-stop Solution for MRSL Conformance Services


Local Expertise with Global Reach

Our MRSL program is delivered via an extensive global testing and certification network, staffed by internationally-recognized experts and professionals with decades of industry experience.

The network includes APAC locations such as Greater China, Thailand and Vietnam, along with labs in Bangladesh, India, Turkey and Germany. This complements our extensive portfolio of MRSL 2.0 testing and certification services, which are already in high demand.



Specifically, TÜV Rheinland is recognized as the official ZDHC certifier for ZDHC MRSL V2.0 - Level 1, 2 and 3 at the following locations:


Additional Detox Service: REACH SVHC