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ZDHC’s Impact Day 2023: “Partnership is the New Leadership”

June 2, 2020

ZDHC Impact Day 2023

ZDHC held its annual Impact Day 2023 at ITMA on June 11th, bringing together leaders from across the fashion and footwear industry to supercharge its vision to create a world where better chemistry leads to the protection of life, land, air, and water. 

The annual event underscored the power of collective action to drive change forward, with the theme of ‘partnership is the new leadership’ recurring in presentations and panels throughout the day. 

As of today, ZDHC is backed by 322 signatory organisations from across the supply chain who form its ‘Committed Community’ and are working collaboratively to shift the paradigm to make manufacturing processes more sustainable. 

The Impact Day event marks a key moment to reflect on progress made towards this mission, unveil new plans for the future, and gather feedback from key stakeholders directly. A summary of highlights include:

The Launch of the ZDHC Impact Report 2022

The ZDHC 2022 Impact Report reflects on the accomplishments, milestones, and groundbreaking initiatives that were achieved in 2022 and are paving the way forward for environmental action across the fashion industry. 

This year's edition also unveils ZDHC’s new Impact Strategy, its ambitious 2030 goal, and examples of tangible impact on the ground - along with a strong call for more industry commitment as alarms bells on the environment continue to rise.

A bird's eye view of ZDHC 2022 achievements include:

  • A decrease of 97% in detection of PFCs in wastewater attributed to reductions in the use of PFCs2022
  • 86% of Signatory Brands  encouraged their suppliers to implement ZDHC guidelines across their global supply chains - an increase of 7% in just one year when compared to 2021.
  • Adoption of ZDHC 2030 Impact Strategy to further enhance its scope to address sustainable chemical management-related impact areas such as Biodiversity, Water Stewardship, and Greenhouse Gas Reduction.

 Read the full report here

Beyond the Numbers: Presenting the Impact Report 2022
“The road ahead demands more commitment than ever before, and a shared responsibility and vision to broaden our collective perspective to address the environmental challenges that lie ahead. We have no time to waste in working to build a cleaner, more sustainable, and equitable world for all.” - Frank Michel, ZDHC Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Launch of ZDHC’s Lifetime Award

The first ever Lifetime Award was launched, awarded to Thomas Schäfer, Head of bluesign® ACADEMY since 2007, an industry leader with an unwavering commitment and unparalleled contribution to shifting the paradigm to make manufacturing processes more sustainable. 

“We are proud to shine the spotlight on a pioneer in the sustainable chemicals industry to acknowledge his expertise and unflagging commitment to drive this industry forward on the road to safer chemicals. His support and guidance to the progress of the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme has been phenomenal” - Prasad Pant, ZDHC Competence Centres Director
Honouring Excellence: The very first ZDHC Lifetime Award

10 Brands Leading: “Aspirational Level” on the ZDHC Detox Fashion Radar

ZDHC unveiled its Brands to Zero Programme's annual assessment highlighting the Impact Champions. 10 ZDHC Signatory Brands were recognised for their efforts as Impact Champions' - the highest level to achieve, reflecting on their work in driving sustainable chemical management forward. 

Brands recognised were adidas, Burberry Group PLC, C&A, F&F (Tesco), H&M Group, HUGO BOSS, Kmart Australia, Levi Strauss & Co., Next, , and Victoria’s Secret & Company. 

“These brands are industry vanguards that are leading by example in best practices and implementation performance, all while remaining firmly committed to ZDHC's mission to detox fashion.”
“We also know it is not ‘the brand’ taking action, a mystical organism that is doing something -it is the people within the brand that are pushing the agenda forward. It’s the achievement of every individual that contributed to the progress of the organisation, and therefore to the Brands to Zero, and the Roadmap to Zero Programme”  Klaas Nuttbohm, ZDHC Implementation Director.

More information on Brands to Zero.

More information on the Detox Fashion Radar

Champions of Change: Celebrating Brands to Zero Aspirational Level

Reflecting on Lessons Learned to Drive Impact

The landmark event also included panels featuring diverse voices such as Francesco Pianca, ZDHC Board Chair, Renee Hackenmiller-Paradis, ZDHC Board Treasurer, Dr Wei-Wang Chen, General Manager at Everlight Chemical, Amina Razvi, CEO at Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Ayman Elzahaby, Technical Expert at UNIDO, Mohamed Elhindy, General Manager at Giza Spinning & Weaving, Rahma Ben Hadj Salah, Sustainability Director at WIC MIC Group and Silvia Lai, Global Technical Leader at UL Solutions and provided moments for direct feedback from the audience too. 

You can watch the full recording of the day on our ZDHC Virtual Environment until 23rd June. Registration and access goes through the ZDHC Event tool.  

Strategy in Action: A Dynamic Panel Discussion on our Impact Strategy in Action
Partners for Progress: A Panel Discussion on UNIDO & ZDHC Project Impact
“The future of leadership, whether in chemical management or anything else, is in partnership. You can no longer do anything meaningful to drive forward change, on your own”. - Francesco Pianca, ZDHC Board Chair


While there is no simple or easy solution to the environmental crisis, we know that collaboration and collective action on a global scale is urgently needed. 

To drive this forward, we need creative thinking, bold leadership and cross-value chain collaboration - and to everyone who attended 2023 Impact Day, we applaud your efforts to participate in this powerful platform for industry dialogue, innovation, and change.

Here's to many more achievements to come! 

Join us! 🌍

Download all event pictures here.