The Turkish denim mill launched a QR Code Integrated System that allows clients to scan a code on a hangtag that reveals information on the fabric’s fiber origin, its life cycle assessment (LCA) scores and environmental impact across eight different dimensions—beating what the company calls an industry average of five. The parameters include climate change, photochemical oxidation, energy demand, acidification, land use, water consumption, eutrophication and ozone layer depletion.
Scanning the QR code with their mobile device, clients are taken to a screen that provides information across each field and a fabric profile complete with composition details, vendor information and certification details. Calik Denim applies cradle-to-gate LCA studies to its products. Its LCA data is verified by independent agencies and currently spans 240 products—90 of which were verified in 2021 alone.
The QR Code Integrated System launches with 56 QR-coded products across Calik’s bestsellers and the latest developments in Sequency, its Fall/Winter 22-23 fabric collection.
“With this system where data can be audited and measured with globally accepted values, we think that it is a pioneering development for sustainability in both the denim and fashion industries,” Tolga Ozkurt, Calik Denim’s deputy general manager of sales and marketing, told Rivet. “It will create a much greater awareness and impact if brands continue this cycle and share all the steps up to the point where the product goes to the end consumer transparently.”
The launch builds off of Calik’s sustainability strategy “Passion for Denim, Passion for Life,” which focuses on three main pillars: leading innovative products, creating a positive impact for stakeholders and reducing impact on the environment. To trace its recycled cotton and recycled polyester, Calik partnered with Aware, a tracer and blockchain technology by Dutch company The Movement that can distinguish false material from genuinely sustainable fabric with a simple scan. Aware’s tracer particles are added to the fiber pre-production to prove that the original recycled feedstock was used in the final product and help companies more accurately measure their environmental impact targets.
This news comes at a time when the industry is leaning on technology for better transparency. Blockchain-based platform Retraced and Pakistan-based denim mill Artistic Milliners teamed to launch a farm-to-garment cotton traceability solution that digitally connects all supply chain partners, allowing them to exchange data on one platform. Ethical brands such as Boyish Jeans are implementing the technology. Last summer, the brand added the Retraced blockchain-based transparency plugin to its e-commerce website, offering consumers a detailed report of its sustainable supply-chain partners.
Fellow ethical L.A. brand Reformation recently launched a denim collection featuring FibreTrace, a technology that embeds traceable, scannable pigments directly into the fabric of its jeans. With a swipe on their smartphones, shoppers can track a garment’s entire lifecycle, with each audit—from the cotton farm, to production, to the finishing stages—securely recorded on the virtual blockchain.
Trims manufacturers are also realizing the value of traceability. Italy’s Cadica Group recently acquired Etichetta 2000, a 30-year-old woven and printed labels company that can help provide Cadica with better transparency. Its E2K online software, a web-based application for managing variable data on merchandise labels, makes its products more easily traceable.