Apparel & Footwear International RSL Management Group

Working with their peers in the apparel and footwear supply chain, members can share best practices

The top brands in the footwear and apparel industry have come together to reduce the impact of harmful chemicals in the global supply chain.


The AFIRM GROUP® is a working forum of leading brands in the apparel, footwear and sporting goods industries working to harmonize product chemical requirements in a precompetitive space. With facilitation by the Phylmar Group, the AFIRM GROUP® maintains product and packaging Restricted Substances Lists (RSLs), publishes guidance and provides training on restricted substances to the greater supply chain, and engages policymakers with responsible industry positions on restricted substances in products. The forum meets twice annually and holds conference calls throughout the year to advance committee work and provide a forum for members to benchmark, network, and receive consultation on restricted substances issues from Phylmar staff.

Why Join the AFIRM GROUP®?

Have your voice be heard.

As an apparel and/or footwear brand, you know what you need to do to support the environment but also keep your business viable. However, it’s not always easy keeping up with current regulations and challenging a new law on your own. Being a part of the AFIRM GROUP® lets your voice be heard not only among your peers but also as part of a bigger group that can help move the needle in the regulatory landscape.

Share best practices with your peers.

The AFIRM GROUP® provides a forum to advance the global management of restricted substances in apparel and footwear- like how to best communicate information about restricted substances lists to the supply chain, discuss industry concerns/regulations, and exchange ideas for improving restricted substances management.

Tap into our global network of apparel and footwear brands with member-only events.

The AFIRM GROUP® hosts at least two conference calls a month with its members and meets in person twice a year. Members can access additional information such as regulatory updates, polls, and upcoming events through an exclusive members-only web portal, and they receive regular email communication from AFIRM GROUP® Client Advisor Nate Sponsler.

Have access to continued education.

Since the AFIRM GROUP® is part of The Phylmar Group, members may receive access to continued training programs to stay current on their certifications and licenses. The Phylmar Academy® is open to all EHS professionals, but Phylmar Group members often get discounts on continued training courses.

Benefits of AFIRM GROUP® Membership

Stay updated and informed of what is going on in legislation regarding restricted substances in the supply chain along with all of your peers who also have a vested interest in responsible product stewardship.

  • Tap into resources involving chemical management best practices.
  • Have access to a members-only web portal with regular communication regarding industry trends, member contacts, polls, upcoming events, and regulations.
  • Help the apparel and footwear industry make history by improving and advancing global management of the supply chain.
  • Collaborate with relevant industries and experts to help build safer and more sustainable chemistry within the supply chain.
  • Have the opportunity to participate in 2x a month telephone conference calls.
  • Be able to work with AFIRM GROUP® Client Advisor Nate Sponsler, who received his JD from the University of San Francisco School of Law, studied general and organic chemistry at UC Berkeley, and has more than nine years’ experience of overseeing chemical management for Gap.
  • Be invited to members-only events to discuss and exchange ideas regarding the Restricted Chemicals List.
  • Become a member of an AFIRM GROUP® committee to explore and report on special topics relating to the RSL.
  • Help increase the understanding and integrate the global supply chain as a whole from workplace to consumer.


  • adidas
  • Amazon
  • Aritzia
  • Bestseller
  • C&A
  • Canada Goose
  • Carhartt
  • Crocs
  • Decathlon
  • Descente
  • ECCO
  • Esprit
  • Fast Retailing
  • Gap Inc.
  • H&M Group
  • Hugo Boss
  • Inditex
  • J.Crew
  • knix
  • Kontoor Brands
  • Lacoste
  • Levi Strauss & Co.
  • lululemon
  • Mizuno
  • MUJI
  • New Balance
  • NIKE, Inc.
  • Nordstrom
  • Pentland
  • Primark
  • PUMA
  • PVH
  • s.Oliver
  • Skechers
  • Superdry
  • The Children’s Place
  • Thinx Inc.
  • Under Armour
  • VF Corporation
  • Victoria’s Secret & Co.
  • Workwear Outfitters

Inquire about joining the AFIRM GROUP®