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Traceability Regulations Continue to Frustrate Footwear and Apparel Manufacturing

Join Theory, Google, H&M, McKinsey, Foot Locker, Lafayette 148, LL Bean, the Retail Prophet and more at Sourcing Journal’s Virtual Sourcing Summit, R/Evolution: Overhauling Fashion’s Outmoded Supply Chain, Oct 14 & 15.

PRESS RELEASE: Long Beach, CA, October 20, 2014 – As supply chain executives representing major brands, retailers and manufacturers convene for the 50th year in Long Beach today, one of the topics they will discuss is the regulations coming from international, US, and state-level governmental bodies that are making heads spin as manufacturers make goods to sell to consumers all around the world. At the Footwear Traffic and Distribution Conference, sponsored by FDRA (www.fdra.org), supply chain traceability solutions will be the point of discussion in a presentation by ecVision Vice President Gary M. Barraco.

The subject is timely because, while supply chain ingredients and chemical traceability have been monitored and controlled for many years now, the State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) recently announced the addition of clothing to the list of key products that will fall under the California Green Chemistry Initiative (CGCI) further requiring brands, retailers and suppliers to provide due diligence reports. These new regulatory actions require manufacturers to report on products that contain specific chemicals harmful to the environment such as alkyl phenol, ethoxylates, azo dyes, halogenated compounds, formaldehyde, phthalates and more. Since the release of the new work plan, controversy arises as the industry is now facing its next compliance liability.

As of today, clothing (which may include socks, stockings and other products sold by footwear brands) has been identified as containing many of the selected harmful substances. The DTSC has revealed two attributes that form the evidence for naming this product category as one of the seven key product categories it is honing in on:

• Contains clear pathways for dermal and inhalation exposure

• Contains chemicals with aquatic resource impacts

This investigation intends to build upon work already initiated by the clothing and textile industry to limit their use of toxic chemicals and actively work toward restricting the use of certain chemicals, such as the restricted substances lists (RSL). The RSLs are based on the most stringent worldwide legislation, which the industry has for years contributed to in order to produce safe and legally compliant products.

Manufacturers are expected to begin investigating these chemicals and limiting the use under the CGCI once, the law is finalized. The initiative boils down to traceability and outlining exactly what substances are being used in the products sold in the State of California. This means the need for data collection and analysis, in conjunction with strong reporting tools, is necessary to avoid potential litigation.

ecVision Suite provides a platform to consolidate the tasks and information required for organizations to minimize risk and cost of traceability. Retailers and manufacturers need to focus on legitimately collaborating with the supplier network to manage risk on all levels in order to avoid costly fines, delays in production and shipping, or lawsuits from customers. Whether using external testing company platforms, home grown or legacy systems, or Excel spreadsheets, the data is scattered and not integrated into the primary supply chain management solution. Real-time visibility, workflow and management-by-exception in the ecVision Suite provides a simplified way to holistically manage product safety and compliance.

To learn more about ecVision Suite visit our website at www.ecVision.com or contact us at reach_us@ecvision.com.

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