Leading Chemical Management Tool Accelerates Product Safety
Our product developers take pride in our culture of innovation, designing products that exceed consumer expectations, while also meeting strict safety requirements and promoting greener chemistries. To meet consumer demands for styling and fabric performance, the apparel industry has historically used a variety of substances and processes and has focused on removing unwanted chemicals in the last phase of production.
Wrangler’s aggressive responsible chemistry strategy prioritizes eliminating any potentially harmful substances up front, following up with testing as an added layer of assurance of product safety. The first step in our chemical safety approach is requiring all of our factories and suppliers to verify compliance with local, national and international laws by adhering to our Restricted Substances List (RSL).
What is unique about our chemicals management program is our use of CHEM-IQ℠, a proactive approach to reviewing the chemical inventories of suppliers and halting the use of chemicals of concern before they enter Wrangler manufacturing plants. We review facility chemical inventories and select substances that must be tested at our partner laboratories. Suppliers receive test results and are informed if there are any prohibited chemicals that must be phased out. Facilities using the simple, five-step CHEM-IQ℠ process have a very low risk of restricted substance list (RSL) failures, wastewater pollution events and worker safety issues.
Our initial goal was to engage 100% of key suppliers in CHEM-IQ testing by mid-year 2017. Having only achieved 63% engagement, we’ve developed a more rigorous approach and reset that goal for the end of 2018. Currently, we’ve removed 16% of unwanted chemistry from our supply chain. With more CHEM-IQ℠ testing capacity in the Western hemisphere, we expect to eliminate 100% of unwanted chemistry by mid-year 2019.
Launched in 2014, CHEM-IQ℠ was developed in collaboration with the University of Leeds, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Our parent company, VF, is making the process openly available to the apparel industry, as well as to other consumer product companies, in an effort to move the entire industry to safer chemistry.