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AFIRM Group releases guidance on restricted substances
Oct '12
In July 2012, the Apparel and Footwear International RSL Management (AFIRM) Group released its RSL Guidance for suppliers. AFIRM recommends suppliers at all levels of the apparel and footwear supply chain to use the RSL Guidance with detailed technical information as a reference for limits and testing methods for restricted substances which may be found in their apparel and footwear production processes.

The AFIRM Group is a multi-company working group including appeal and footwear companies with RSL regulatory, product safety and chemistry experts. The group aims to share best practices of RSL management, information and experiences and also to benchmark the compliance of international regulations.

The new RSL Guidance provides the most stringent substance limit and the corresponding test method for those commonly used restricted substances within the apparel and footwear supply chain. It gives vendors a tool to establish chemical management knowledge and processes, and it helps build a base compliance.

Apart from the RSL Guidance, the AFIRM Group also offers a Supplier Toolkit. This toolkit is a chemical guidance document containing detailed technical information about restricted substances in the apparel and footwear production process. The toolkit not only focuses on the elimination of restricted substances from finished products, but also provides extensive information about the possible pathways of discharge of chemicals into the environment, such as wastewater, air emission and solid waste. Both the RSL Guidance and the Supplier Toolkit are currently available to the public at the AFIRM website.

According to the RSL Guidance, the recommended restricted substance list is classified in color coding with red, yellow and green which indicates that a substance is in high occurrence, mid occurrence or low occurrence, respectively in the apparel and footwear supply chain. Substances highlighted in red color are historically widely used during the production process and most are regulated by law.

SGS Global Softlines has an extensive network of over 30 laboratories worldwide, with a strong team of committed professionals from multi-disciplinary backgrounds. Our internationally accredited state-of-the-art testing laboratories offer a comprehensive range of physical, chemical and functional testing services for components, materials and finished products.

SGS Global Softlines

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