Arlington, VA—The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) launched Tuesday a new web-based collaboration solution designed to assist U.S. apparel and footwear industry companies better exchange important environmental and chemical management information through a Voluntary Product Environmental Profile (VPEP) with their partners along the supply chain.
The tool, which is available at www.vpepxchange.com, was built in partnership with TEXbase, a product integrity management software solutions provider.
Better Communication Between Retailers, Vendors
“As a global industry, the U.S. footwear and apparel industry has a global responsibility to ensure our products are produced in a sustainable and safe way,” said AAFA Executive Vice President Steve Lamar. “The VPEP tool we released today will help brands and retailers better communicate with their suppliers about chemical management issues that arise along the supply chain to ensure our products remain safe for our customers.”
The Voluntary Product Environmental Profile (VPEP) is a supplier disclosure process that allows brands, retailers, and suppliers to exchange vital information on the chemical makeup of products and the environmental impact of apparel and textile products and processes. While a hardcopy version of the VPEP form was established several years ago, the launch of www.vpepxchange.com streamlines the exchange of data and offers a more concise and efficient way to communicate an ever-more transparent supply chain, AAFA said.
“With increasing transparency and traceability requirements, VPEP providers can now easily collaborate with manufacturers, brands and retailers, to securely share chemical and environmental information for product development, compliance, and sustainability initiatives,” said Joe Walkuski, chief technology officer/founder at TEXbase.
In the coming weeks, AAFA will host training for brands, retailers, and suppliers interested in utilizing the platform to better communicate along the supply chain. Companies are able to immediately access www.vpepxchange.com through a nominal subscription fee. AAFA members will receive a special discount when they subscribe to www.vpepxchange.com.