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MAS Holdings becomes the latest apparel and textile manufacturer to become a value chain affiliate of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) group, as it works to move the industry towards a goal of zero discharge of harmful chemicals to the environment by 2020.

Becoming the first company from Sri Lanka to join the ZDHC programme is a step taken deliberately by MAS to achieve its vision for a zero toxic future for the apparel and textile industry.

Headquartered in Sri Lanka with 50 manufacturing facilities placed across 15 countries, design locations in key style centers across the globe and with over 88,000 people involved in its operation MAS is now a $1.6 Bn conglomerate, and is positioned as one of the world’s most recognized design-to-delivery solution providers in the realm of apparel and textile manufacturing.

The new partnership makes way for both MAS and ZDHC to create positive impact across the group’s value chain and is aligned with the company’s own sustainability plan which includes an ambitious internal goal to reduce hazardous chemical usage, in its manufacturing processes, products and its own supply chain by 2025.

MAS’s initial venture into the apparel manufacturing industry in 1986, began with the bold product choice of lingerie. Today the group has expanded its product portfolio to bras, shape wear, performance wear, sleepwear, swimwear and active wear as well as its own fabric supply chain. Their customer portfolio includes brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Nike, lululemon, Calvin Klein, Marks & Spencer, Patagonia, Speedo and others.

In 6 years MAS Holdings has taken Sustainability to the core of its business by implementing standards across all its facilities in Sri Lanka and driving a culture of sustainability among its 88,000 strong workforce, 70% of whom are women. Now the apparel conglomerate is broadening its mandate by seeking out greater collaboration on projects that will position Sri Lanka as a hub for sustainable manufacturing.

Mahesh Amalean Chairman and Managing Director of MAS Holdings says,

“I am proud to be announcing our affiliation with the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Programme. Becoming a value chain affiliate member of ZDHC marks a key milestone in this journey where MAS has made a clear commitment to drive real change in our sphere of influence and support the ZDHC group and our partners to remove hazardous chemicals from all textile production by 2020.

Our ZDHC commitment is simply one part of our overall strategy and the pillars which make our core – Innovation, Sustainability and Collaboration. We are determined to work with all we influence in this journey to innovate alternatives that are safer, more efficient and does no harm to the environment or to our communities. We hope more peers and partners will join us in this quest to create the non-toxic future that we must all urgently work towards as a collective vision”.

A view echoed by Sarinda Unamboowe the Board Director overseeing Sustainable Manufacturing at MAS says,

“We have identified responsible chemical management as a key focus of our sustainability plan and becoming part of the ZDHC programme is one more step towards creating a non-toxic future. Growing a business while growing a mandate for sustainability is a tough job and an even tougher act to follow. We believe sustainability needs to go beyond a CSR mandate and become a strategic core of the business. This approach means MAS goes beyond precaution, compliance and mere promotion of sustainability, and seeks long-term solutions in collaboration with all key stakeholders.”