During the Covid-19 pandemic a global supply chain disruption emerged, causing many companies to think outside the box. On a mission to help its customers—both brands and vertical retailers—while following ethical practices, textile company Copen United has developed a supply chain map to help increase the transparency and traceability of its products.
Spurred by current as well as impending government legislation, Copen United, a leading global supplier of pocketing, waistbands and linings in the apparel industry, saw the need to act.
“We must take a due diligence approach to demand that our supply chain is following the rules set forth by the U.S. government,” said Barry Emanuel, president and owner of Copen United.
While Copen hasn’t figured out all the answers and solutions, it recognized the need for transparency, supply chain documentation and traceability, which is why the New York-based company implemented a supply chain raw materials team to provide “tools for success,” including a quality control manual focused on responsible sourcing. In fact, implementing the new initiative was “more important than ever.” As Emanuel put it, having a clear and transparent supply chain gives their customers confidence that the choices they make are ethical and compliant.
“We must be able to tell our customers where our products come from and the fiber components with important documentation,” Emanuel added. “So many trade agreements, government regulations and labor acts are requiring us all to stand up and be counted. We are making so many positive changes to reflect traceability and a clear chain of custody with our product offering.”
Supply chain map
One of the most vital tools created by the team was the supply chain map, according to Copen United.
The map—a clear presentation backed up by 40 to 50 pages of documents showing the complete supply chain—brings a standard operating procedure and documentation approach to mitigate the risk of goods being detained during international trade. Additionally, the supply chain map includes a flow chart showing where the products begin and where they’re delivered.
“We start with fiber and follow through all steps of production. All possible documents are prepared and tracked to meet our customer’s needs and requirements to the best of our ability,” Emanuel added. “If a container gets delayed and our phone rings, we have a clear procedure to supply all the documents that will keep our customers products on the move, reducing lost time and missed deliveries.”
Looking toward the future
With social responsibility a part of Copen’s DNA, creating the supply chain map is just the beginning. As demands continue to change, Copen’s supply chain raw materials team will evolve accordingly and provide the documents and certifications that U.S. Customs and Border Protection and direct customers might start to require.
“From responsible sourcing to delivery, we are doing our best to demonstrate where we source and operate through accurate documentation,” Emanuel said. “We believe responsible sourcing is the first step to sustainability and circularity. Traceability and transparency will be fundamental to any company with goals of longevity, prosperity and meeting their customer needs.”
To learn more about Copen United click here.