On Monday, the company announced it attained the seal of approval on the pigment, which is used in the initial stages of its tracing process: Fibretrace embeds luminescent pigments on the fiber at the raw source, after which the pigment bonds to the fiber and remains there throughout the entire textile processing cycle. The pigmented fibers are mixed into cotton fibers so the resulting fabric can be scanned throughout the supply chain to capture data, which consumers can later access by scanning a QR code or alternative method based on the brand’s choosing.
Luminescent pigments are sourced from FibreTrace’s exclusive partner, Leuchtstoffwerk Breitungen GmbH, which for more than 70 years has worked with inorganic luminescent materials, specialty chemicals and coating technologies. The pigments are used in cotton, rPET, responsible viscose, wool and other responsible fiber types, and are made of rare earth minerals most commonly found and used in renewables and solar energy.
From the start, FibreTrace has claimed that the tracking pigment is non-toxic and has no impact on a product, stating that it passed numerous tests and safety standards for human skin contact.
“We have always been confident in our pigment’s safety and durability throughout the global textile production process,” said Shannon Mercer, CEO of FibreTrace. “To officially have our GOTS certification allows us to share this confidence with our brands and continue in our commitment to positively impact the industry through trusted traceability.”
The certification comes on the heels of FibreTrace receiving a European patent for a Photon Marker System in fiber material in August. The patent represents another step forward for FibreTrace in pioneering a completely traceable and transparent era of sustainable textiles, combining physical and digital traceability with the power of authentication.
The following month, FibreTrace was one of the partners included in the Higg traceability program alongside technology partners atma.io by Avery Dennison and TrusTrace. The global collaboration was organized to help brands track the hidden impacts within their manufacturing processes, ensure fiber integrity and understand, communicate and accelerate product sustainability.
Textile traceability has become a top priority for brands and mills as they attempt to go beyond their sustainable claims and ensure that what they promise is truly what they deliver. Tracing technology has helped companies curb greenwashing allegations and get a clearer picture of their entire supply chain. A recent report from Cotton Diaries, an organization dedicated to making cotton supply chains more sustainable, highlighted that 69 percent of denim brands don’t know their cotton’s origins.
The report included input from 27 freelance consultants, designers and CSR managers working for brands throughout the denim industry, and found that, despite the rise of traceability solutions and their implementation, companies still have a long way to go in removing the blind spots in their supply chain.