Case Study 1

Victoria’s Secret & Co.’s multi-faceted approach to testing and supplier engagement resulted in the elimination of a priority chemical

During wastewater testing in 2016, Victoria’s Secret & Co. identified a facility that had NP and NPEO in pre- and post-treated wastewater effluent and sludge. These chemicals were undetected in incoming water; therefore the source was assumed to be a formulation used in production. Upon reviewing these results, Victoria’s Secret & Co. asked the facility to send finished goods from bulk production to a lab for RSL validation testing against the OKEO-Tex Standard 100, which is a worldwide consistent, independent testing and certification system for raw, semi-finished and finished textile products at all processing levels, as well as accessory materials used. Test results revealed that NPEO was also present in the finished goods. Victoria’s Secret & Co. immediately set to work with the supplier to identify the source of the NPEO in production. The first step was to ask the facility to provide a detailed chemical inventory. Two chemicals from the inventory were identified as potential sources of NPEO: An ionic surfactant used for scouring before pigment dyeing and a silicone softener used in finishing. Victoria’s Secret & Co. decided to proceed with having the formulations sent to a lab for confirmation testing. The test results revealed that both formulations contained NPEO at levels above the MRSL limit. Consequently, the facility was asked to immediately replace the two non-complying chemicals and was assisted with identifying suitable alternatives. Subsequent wastewater testing at the facility confirmed that the pre- and post-treated wastewater and sludge were free of NP and NPEO.

*Note: Victoria’s Secret & Co. is now a stand-alone company, but was apart of L Brands until Aug. 3, 2021.