Over the past several months there have
been numerous retail recalls for products manufactured in China, ranging
from pet foods (Menu Foods) to children’s toys (Mattel® and
Fisher-Price®) to baby bibs (Wal-Mart® and
Toys"R"Us®). You may also have read about
disintegrating and peeling PUL in some very big brand names.
This has created expensive product recall and liability issues for the
companies involved, damaging the market reputation they have worked hard
to establish over the years.
These recalls and product failures have raised some important issues for you to consider in your global procurement decisions: product safety, product consistency, and supply chain traceability.
Before getting started, we want to ensure you that Wazoodle's branded products are formulated with materials and finished with processes that contain no lead, heavy metals, BPA, phalates, or other controlled chemicals that are known to be harmful to humans -- particularly babies. They can confidently be used in any product that requires CPSIA approval, we guarantee our textiles products will not compromise CPSIA compliance.
In a story of frightening implications, in May ' 09, Wal-Mart recalled tens of thousands of barrier-backed baby bibs because the barrier fabric contained lead as a colorant in the plastic backings. The source of the bibs was a manufacturer in China. Toys"R"Us had a similar recall in Canada in August 2007. There have been other recalls relating to paints, stuffing, and heavy metal contaminations in plastics.
It's important to understand these very public product recalls were due to offshore fabric manufacturers not meeting US and Canadian standards. We are not aware of a single instance where domestic producers have had products recalled due to contamination -- largely because domestic producers are acutely aware of standards -- the penalties for contravening them are considerable.
The reason for these recalls is producers in China and other Asian countries often use outdated processes and formulations to lower the cost of producing fabrics and finished goods. It's not uncommon for Chinese producers to use formulations that contain heavy metals, particularly lead and cadmium, in pigments used for dying and coloring, heat stabilizers, and other finishing processes. Natural fiber products are not immune either, fibers like jute and hemp absorb contaminants as polluted waters are often used in the fiber separation process.
North American producers have removed toxic formulations and processes for quite some time. The reason these dangerous compounds are still used by some manufacturers in China and developing countries is, quite simply, that they are the lowest cost raw materials which leads to lower cost/higher profit on their materials.
Equally as important are the areas of product consistency and product traceability of some supply chains in China. Importers and traders may not always use the same company to produce their products from order to order. For example, a PUL importer may shop a handful of mills for the best prices each time the place an order, if a company offers a 'sweet deal' those goods may be produced and imported with virtually no regard to safety or compliance.
We seem to be hearing of regular, if not weekly, instances of recall of potentially dangerous products originating from Chinese manufacturers. These products have the potential to harm people. The companies involved have damaged their brand and reputations and are now experiencing expensive recall and litigation processes.
Be assured that by choosing Wazoodle, you’ve chosen a supplier who provides you with value, consistent product quality and performance. In addition, you’ve chosen a product which is much more likely to have been designed for the application you are using it for.
You’ve chosen a product that was produced in a mill with safe working conditions, is safe for your workers to handle, safe for your customers to use and safe for your business reputation now, and in the future.
As a responsible supplier to more than 800 small manufacturers, we pride ourselves in providing well designed, cost competitive products manufactured in a controlled process using the best available technology and the best available raw materials. We are proud to supply customers like you who, by your support of Wazoodle, obviously feel the same way we do!