More than ever, apparel and textile companies are being judged on how sustainable—or not—their supply chains are. And without the proper traceability into the manufacturing methods and raw materials behind their products, brands’ reputations could be at stake.
The cotton supply chain in particular is facing added scrutiny amid reports of forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Verifying that cotton didn’t come from this source is not just an issue of social responsibility; brands importing to the U.S. could have goods blocked by Customs and Border Protection if they can’t prove the provenance of their textiles.
But raw materials is only one area in need of greater supply chain visibility. Today, apparel companies must have a clear picture of the facilities creating their goods, including a realistic understanding of their safety and social compliance measures. Beyond risk mitigation, these companies now face increased pressure to prove their progress on specific sustainability targets. During a Sourcing Journal webinar on March 24, speakers explained when and how companies need to go beyond paper trails or mass balancing to assure consumers and stakeholders of what’s happening in their supply chains. Applied DNA Sciences is tagging materials at a molecular level, which allows them to be tested at later points in the production process to prove their origins. Meanwhile, Oeko-Tex tests and certifies materials to ensure claims including chemical and social compliance.
Delivering on material-level traceability requires collaboration between brands and their suppliers. If buyers establish a long-term partnership with manufacturers, including consistent orders, it will be easier to convince them to get on board with traceability technology.
Watch the webinar to learn more about:
- Why traceability and measurements need to start with materials
- How Applied DNA Sciences and Oeko-Tex work with fashion firms to provide visibility
- Best practices for communicating certifications and material origins to customers
- Where to start with traceability, and the cost of implementing solutions
- How to manage numerous certifications
- Who is ultimately responsible for traceability
- Ben Mead, Managing Director, Hohenstein Institute America
- MeiLin Wan, Vice President, Textile Sales, Applied DNA Sciences
- Rodger Glaspey, Managing Director, Louis Dreyfus Company
- Caletha Crawford, Publisher, Sourcing Journal (moderator)