Serai, a network-based digital B2B platform that bills itself as “the LinkedIn for apparel companies,” has launched a traceability solution that gives apparel businesses the tools to track cotton and other raw materials that make their finished products.
Businesses can use the new solution to trace order flow throughout the supply chain, manage supply chain risks and collect data for compliance needs. The solution also enables users to provide stakeholders with proof of sustainability and provenance across their portfolio. Serai says the traceability solution helps businesses map upstream suppliers and track environmental, sustainability and governance (ESG) commitments.
Traceability has become an even bigger imperative in recent years as more apparel companies commit to sustainability goals and social causes. Adding fuel to the fire, as human rights violations such as those in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region continue to plague the sector, brands must ensure that they are not only staying away from cotton and other raw materials that were made from forced labor, but also sourcing in compliance with U.S. law.
The Serai traceability solution combines multiple data sources so that businesses and their supply chain partners alike can share a single overview of information that they may not have had access to before, potentially helping them identify gaps and inefficiencies in their current processes. Businesses only need to integrate information sources once, Serai says.
Vivek Ramachandran, CEO of Serai, says it’s “difficult for businesses to have full visibility over their complex supply chains as much of this data is currently fragmented and managed manually.”
Hong Kong-based Serai, which is the first investment by HSBC in a non-banking startup, was founded to simplify global trade, with an initial focus on the notoriously inscrutable apparel industry. The company’s solutions are aimed at apparel businesses to build the advantage of trust through relationships and facilitate supply-chain transparency.
While the company’s networking platform was initially established as invite-only, Serai has since opened up to public applicants.
Manufacturers and suppliers in the garment industry can create a profile on Serai that enables them to put their products, services and specialties in front of buyers, retailers and brands year-round. Within the profile, these companies can engage potential partners with photos and videos of their business, products and factories and build trust by highlighting company awards, certifications, sustainability and compliance efforts.
Buyers can search for suppliers that meet their specific needs, view all the company information through one profile, instantly send a message to start a conversation and get notified when suppliers respond to requests.
Any company that applies can simply select whether they prefer to search for apparel brands, sourcing agents, distributors, retailers, manufacturers, ready-made garment buyers and ready-made garment suppliers.
Serai is hosting a virtual event on the networking platform from Feb. 2-4, inviting global apparel and footwear brands to discover and source from 500 Bangladesh manufacturers and suppliers, which will present the latest technology and products to potential buyers.