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Sorona® Brings Transparency to Fabric Performance with Certification Process

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As we settle into the new year, our Sourcing Summit Companion Report looks ahead at ways to optimize processes and performance.

With so much “haziness” in today’s apparel supply chain, Sorona® is determined to give brands and consumers alike the confidence that they are getting high-performance fabric backed by true sustainability claims.

In launching the Common Thread Fabric Certification Program for Sorona® earlier in 2020, DuPont Biomaterials made this a reality. Those interested in certification must submit fabric swatches to a laboratory for testing in order to gain a certificate for a minimum level of Sorona® bio-based content, as well as quality and performance, which then results in access to approved logos, marketing materials and more.

For supply chain partners, the program goes back to one imperative, according to Alexa Raab, global brand and communications leader at Sorona®—educating the consumer.

“As consumers become more educated, they are more knowledgeable and I think it’s important for us to be transparent to avoid potential greenwashing,” Raab said in a recent fireside chat with Sourcing Journal founder and president Edward Hertzman. “I always go back to this example of vegan leather, which often has the potential to mislead consumers. If you have the term ‘vegan leather’ on a skirt, we know that it isn’t likely using animal products, but at the same time, it might be plastic-based.”

Continuing along this education theme, Sorona® recently began working with interested brand partners to embed digital hangtags within their product pages to communicate the fabrics’ sustainability metrics and standards to the end consumer.

“If a customer is shopping for a garment online, and it says ‘Made with Sorona® Agile’ or ‘Made with Sorona® Aura,’ they can hover on that hyperlinked term and then they will see the digital hangtag drop down,” Raab said. “It has the sub-brand logo, the details of the materials and bio-based content included. When you click on that digital hangtag, it will take you back to our website or show a new video snippet.”

Further building on this transparency, Sorona® introduced an online portal for media, brands, mills and other interested customers to create a user-friendly experience that isn’t always typical of B2B portals.

“[This customer portal] makes it really easy for anyone to go onto our website, gain access to the portal and learn more about Sorona®. For those qualified, they are also able to access a list of our preferred mills,” said Raab. “By working with those mills, you know that they have already done the work to certify our fabrics. The sub-brands cover a wide variety of applications, so depending on your needs, you would find a sub-brand that would align nicely with garment development.”

As a complement to the Common Thread Certification program and customer portal, Sorona® unveiled its Preferred Mill Network, further strengthening the relationships between company and its partner mills worldwide.

The mill network comes as Sorona® is seeing more demand across its five fabric types—Agile, Aura, Luxe, Profile and Revive—as well as faux fur garments that it developed with partner manufacturer Ecopel and recently starred on “Project Runway.” The bio-based fur alternative started to gain traction in late 2019 when Stella McCartney debuted a collection comprised of the “Koba Fur” Paris Fashion Week.

Click the image above to watch the video to learn more Sorona® and its Common Thread Fabric Certification Program.

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