PRODUCT SAFETY & CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT
Ensuring the quality and safety of our products continues to be one of our main priorities at ASICS. Throughout our operations, we use a quality assurance and management system to ensure our products comply with all applicable global standards. We continuously improve this system to ensure our products and services continue to meet the requirements of our customers.
We communicate our quality principles and objectives to our employees. Training is an integral part of our quality assurance and management system. Besides training our own employees, we also train and certify staff within our suppliers’ facilities. We carry out product liability inspections that cover product safety, the application of quality improvement measures, and descriptions on product labels and promotional materials.
1. CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT
ASICS complies with laws and regulations related to the chemical safety of products, the environment, and people in each country or district in which we do business.
The ASICS Guideline for the Control and Use of Chemicals defines the responsibilities of ASICS and its suppliers regarding the control and use of chemicals associated with our product design and manufacturing processes. The guideline ensures legal compliance and is aligned with industry best practice in chemical management. All suppliers must comply with the requirements of the guideline when manufacturing ASICS’ products.
2. AFIRM：ALIGNING WITH INDUSTRY STANDARDS FOR CHEMICAL
ASICS is a member of the Apparel and Footwear International RSL Management (AFIRM) Group. Through our involvement with AFIRM, we contribute to building and sharing knowledge about chemical management best practice, and supporting activities that help suppliers efficiently manage their risks and compliance regarding restricted chemical substances.
The AFIRM RSL is designed to align industry standards for product chemical management and improving compliance efficiency, reducing the burden on suppliers. In an industry where many brands share the same supplier facilities, this alignment is a major step forward in increasing efficiency and compliance at the factory level.
ASICS actively supports this direction, and in early 2016 we adopted the AFIRM RSL as a critical component of the ASICS Guideline for the Control and Use of Chemicals.
bluesign® is an industry-wide system bringing together brands, manufacturers, converters and chemical suppliers to collaborate on chemical management. ASICS became the first Japanese brand to become a System Partner of bluesign® in 2017, a system uniting every part of the supply chain to improve the sustainability of textile and footwear production.
4. OUR ACTIVITY FOR PFCs FREE
To protect both the environment and the human body, ASICS has gradually decreased the usage of Durable Water Repellent (DWR) with Per- and Polyfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) since 2016. On top of that, all products produced from 2020 onwards will aim to be 100% PFCs free.
PFCs are chemicals which are used to add DWR and other functions to fiber, leather and so on. They have also proven to be extremely persistent in the environment and can contaminate land and water. They have also shown to accumulat in the human body and are possibly carcinogenic. Because of those properties, Long Chain per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (LCPFCs ※1) like PFOS and PFOA which are included in C8 are banned in many countries and the use of Short Chain per -and polyfluorinated chemicals (SCPFCs※2) called ‘C4 and C6’ is also limited.
Currently, in spite of many efforts to develop good and better alternatives, the DWR functionality of treatments without PFCs still tends to be inferior to that of treatments with PFCs. We appreciate your understanding for this difference in performance level while we continue to seek safe alternatives that have better performance.
ASICS will continue to produce products with consideration of the environment and human health to pursue and contribute to a sustainable society.
※1 The chemical whose Fluorine is combined with more than 8 Carbon atoms and up
※2 The chemical whose Fluorine is combined with less than 7 Carbon atoms and down