Cone Denim has reached a new level of transparency.
The mill completed its first verification of origin audit through Oritain, a product and supply-chain traceability specialist. Cone announced its partnership with Oritain in September, becoming the first denim mill globally to adopt the highest level of end-to-end traceability possible.
The results of the audit show that all samples analyzed across Cone Denim operations in China and Mexico were compliant and zero samples were identified as coming from a restricted risk origin named in the mill’s cotton sourcing policy. Restricted sources include the Xinjiang region of northwestern China, Syria, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
Cone stated that it is committed to maintaining a supply chain free of any form of forced labor and will undergo quarterly audits to ensure ongoing transparency and traceability.
“We are very pleased to have completed our first Oritain audit and are able to provide scientific certainty of Cone Denim’s commitment to responsible and transparent sourcing,” said Steve Maggard, Cone Denim president.
This milestone for Cone lands during a time when sustainable and ethical claims are increasingly under the microscope. “Manufacturers, brand owners and retailers are increasingly focused on ensuring there is transparency within their supply chains,” said Rupert Hodges, Oritain chief strategy officer. “A huge part of this is knowing and trusting where their product comes from, especially when claiming a certain provenance or ethical standard.”
Oritain’s technology and process for verification provides documentable transparency that is admissible in a court of law, Maggard stated. This ultimately strengthens the mill’s sustainable and ethical sourcing claims.
Oritain’s auditing methods combines forensic science and statistics to detect naturally occurring elements in the cotton itself, eliminating the need for additional foreign tracers such as spray or particles. Soil composition and other environmental factors reveal details of about the location where cotton is grown, which Oritain calls Origin Fingerprint. Once Origin Fingerprints are created, they cannot be tampered with, replicated or destroyed.
To date, Oritain has mapped over 90 percent of the world’s cotton. Products can be tested at any point in the supply chain to verify origin claims.
“Through scientific verification of cotton origin, our customers can be assured that Cone Denim products do not contain any cotton from prohibited regions, offering an elevated level of confidence and scientific peace of mind,” Maggard said.