Retro-reflective Trim Product Bulletin

As the world’s leader in FR protective gear and apparel, Bulwark is a proud part of the world’s largest apparel producing company, VF Corporation, serving multiple industries and countries across the global marketplace.

Thanks to the size and scale of VF Corporation, Bulwark has access to the industry’s best materials and suppliers and is able to surpass performance requirements and comply with the wide range of rules and regulations in force around the world.

VF’s product quality program includes a restricted substance list (RSL) identifying chemicals that are “restricted” or “banned” in specific countries and markets.

Although each supplier is required to acknowledge and confirm compliance with the RSL on an annual basis, VF consistently and regularly tests the raw materials used in the manufacture of Bulwark products.

Recently, during a routine test of 3M FR reflective tape, unacceptable levels of Organotin were detected, and while this substance is not restricted in North America, it is banned in the European Union, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea.

As VF and Bulwark assess alternate products and suppliers and work with 3M to identify a suitable substitute, controls are currently in place to prevent products containing Organotin from entering these restricted markets.

While no over-arching international law or regulation requires disclosing this lapse in compliance, Bulwark, along with the VF family of apparel companies, is dedicated to maintaining the highest product quality as well as the trust and loyalty of our valued customers. Thanks for your patience and support as we resolve this important issue.

For additional information please contact Denise Statham, Technical Services Director at 615-565-5304 or

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How flame-resistant fabrics work

Flame-resistant (FR) fabrics and garments are intended to resist ignition, prevent the spread of flames away from the immediate area of high heat impingement, and to self-extinguish almost immediately upon removal of the ignition source.

Normal work apparel will ignite and continue to burn if exposed to an ignition source such as flame or electric arc. Everyday fabrics will continue to burn until they are extinguished or all flammable material is consumed.