Proof by example! Through the ‘a better way’ programme, we invite you to discover the initiatives of Première Vision exhibitors committed to a sustainable transition in their design and production models. Let’s take a closer look at the traceability efforts implemented by the exhibitors featured in the ‘a better way’ programme.
From opacity to transparency
Frequently described as opaque, fashion is evolving towards greater transparency. Demanded by consumers who are keen to find out about production conditions, and required by regulations, new traceability standards are urging brands to carry out the usual checks to ensure compliance with codes of conduct, working conditions, health and safety, as well as the implementation of good environmental responsibility practices.
The traceability of production information is therefore the prerequisite for serving this transparency and making it possible to comply with the various regulations.
Introduced in 2017 in France, in 2023 in Germany and recently adopted in Europe with the CSDDD (Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive), the Duty of Vigilance is multiplying on an international scale. It requires companies to analyse their value chain in order to identify, prevent or mitigate social and environmental risks. At the same time, new legislation specifically requires companies to share the origins of different stages in the value chain. At the same time, specific laws require that companies provide the origin of different stages of production. The AGEC law and the the UFLPA (Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act), for example, all require proof that products put on the market are in no way linked to forced labour in Xinjiang province.
The industry is therefore taking steps to guarantee the origins of materials, such as British Millerain, which keeps information on each batch of raw materials.
While information on the origin of garments and weaves is generally known, the situation becomes much more complex when it comes to knowing where the yarns and raw materials come from. Mixed compositions, multiple yarns or fibre types, the tree structure unfolds the further up the value chain you go. The challenge of product composition is compounded by business secrecy and the protection of intellectual property, and the search for information quickly becomes akin to the quest for the Holy Grail.
This is why, in addition to the change in mentality that is gradually taking place in the face of regulatory pressure, tools have been developed in recent years to support the necessary transformation of the industry.
New tools to analyse and map
There are various traceability tools, whether physical or digital, that aim to collect:
- production data
- social or environmental audits
- transaction certificates
- physical material test reports.
From the earliest stages, such as cotton ginning or synthetic filament development, materials can be traced at the heart of the fibre using additive markers. This choice of authentic information convinced Inovafil. The Portuguese spinner chose Repreve® to take advantage of FiberPrint® technology, an exclusive tracing process for verifying claims of recycled content.
To guarantee the regenerative content of its cottons, Inovafil is working with Good Earth Cotton. Using their Fibertrace® luminescent marker technology and the associated blockchain, Good Earth Cotton collects information at each stage of processing. Origin data, date and auditor information are collected and stored in real time on the FibreTrace® blockchain-secured platform, ensuring total visibility.
These physical product traceability technologies can be combined with digital traceability platforms. Designed to host the consolidation of existing information in the Cloud, SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms such as Fairly Made®, Retraced and Trustrace collect and aggregate data as it is processed throughout the value chain. Supima and Lenzing are working with Textile Genesis to ensure the authenticity of their fibres and share their data.