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This Is How Foursource and Oeko-Tex Foster Transparency in Apparel Supply Chains

Oeko-Tex has entered a partnership with Foursource, the Berlin-based digital market network for the apparel industry, to verify Oeko-Tex certificates through a direct interface.

Oeko-Tex and Foursource will jointly contribute to higher transparency standards and easier compliance management practices across the apparel supply chain.

As sustainability and transparency have become key drivers of the apparel industry’s path forward, the partnership offers new ways for brands and buyers to find certified factories and to manage compliance in a safe and efficient way. Oeko-Tex has always stood for consumer protection and sustainability along the textile and leather value chain by providing standardized solutions, from product label standards to chemical certification.

Georg Dieners, secretary general of Oeko-Tex, said, “Foursource not only provides a guide for buyers, but also gives manufacturers the opportunity to find out what buyers are interested in. For example, buyers can immediately see which Oeko-Tex certificates a manufacturer has and can select according to their preferences. Of course, this also helps us to place our certificates more prominently when reaching out to the buyers.”

Foursource founder and CEO Godecke Wessel, CEO described the partnership as a “revolution” in the fashion sector that “will open radically new ways for brands to find right supply partners and to manage compliance standards in a truly digital way.”

Foursource was founded by experienced technology innovators and industry experts. The management team contributes know-how from various fashion and e-commerce companies. The company aims to make apparel sourcing less costly, safer and to provide solutions that enable all market players to substantially accelerate their cycle time.

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Manufacturers create a detailed company profile describing their production capabilities, services, machinery and minimum order quantities and available certificates. With the collaboration, Oeko-Tex certificates will always be verified and feature the most accurate information.

The agreement follows a partnership Foursource struck earlier this month with the International Apparel Federation (IAF) in their shared mission to foster greater transparency in the apparel industry through digitization.

“The partnership with Foursource allows us to help our membership take a big leap in their ability to effectively, efficiently and quickly find the right new clients or new suppliers worldwide,” Matthijs Crietee, secretary general of IAF, said.

IAF and Foursource will closely collaborate in selected countries, such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and Vietnam, and support local industry associations and their member companies to increase their digital visibility to international buyers and brands.

Professional apparel buyers use Foursource free of charge and have access to a database of more than 30,000 companies from 95 countries. A matching logic supports buyers in identifying the companies that best fit their needs, while additional filters allow them to fine-tune a search by product categories, countries, order quantities or certification standards.