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Standards and Regulation



Restricted Substances List (RSL) in AFIRM Group

AFIRM is the Apparel and Footwear International RSL Management Working Group, established in 2004. AFIRM’s mission is “to reduce the use and impact of harmful substances in the apparel and footwear supply chain.” Restricted Substances List (“RSL”) is created by AFIRM, which is intended to assist and guide supply chain participants seeking to increase product quality and safety or reduce their environmental impact by limiting the use of certain substances in apparel and footwear. AFIRM do this based on transparency, science, and collaboration with relevant industries and experts to build safer and more sustainable chemistry within the apparel and footwear supply chains.It is a goal of the AFIRM Group to reduce the testing burden on suppliers and streamline the RSL testing approach, while further reducing risk of restricted substances in materials and products. As brands adopt the AFIRM Testing Matrix into their RSL process, suppliers and AFIRM brands will be able to share test reports and data more easily, reducing the need for multiple RSL test submissions to satisfy different RSL requirements.Scope of the AFIRM RSLThe primary focus of the AFIRM RSL remains apparel and footwear, which is applied to these additional product types, and examples are included in the scope of this document for guidance. However, AFIRM recommends that suppliers check with their brand customers for specific requirements regarding additional product categories.AFIRM RSL Testing MatrixAFIRM RSL Testing Matrix is a more prescriptive approach to help brands and suppliers effectively manage chemical risks by adopting a common testing approach for use and acceptance across different brands. Chemicals assigned a Level 1 in materials should be viewed as the minimum amount of testing required to satisfy AFIRM member requirements, and chemicals assigned a Level 2 are recommended for additional testing and may be required at brand discretion.Regular and self-governed testing of all relevant substances by suppliers will help to ensure the widest acceptance of third-party test reports by international brands.The Testing Matrix was developed by AFIRM brands utilizing multiple sources of information, including industry RSL testing information, a broad understanding of global supply chain operations, and from nearly two decades of managing restricted substances across a wide range of materials.The Testing Matrix uses the following color codes:Red = Higher risk. Testing required.Orange = Lower risk. Testing recommended and may be required at brand discretion.Blank = Lowest risk. Not anticipated in materialAFIRM RSL Testing Matrix (partial)Update of the AFIRM RSLAFIRM RSL will be updated according to regulation and law published in the world and some agreements discussed with brands and experts almost once per year, at the beginning of every year since 2015. all supplier chains and brands should notice these updates and improve product quality and safety consequently. Any detailed information you need, please feel free contact us, we are always here for you!