As the fashion industry strives for a more sustainable industry, Fashion for Good, C&A Foundation and the Organic Cotton Accelerator, with support from C&A, Kering, PVH Corp. and Zalando launched their Organic Cotton Traceability Pilot.
In a statement released Friday, Fashion for Good said the project, which was originally launched in 2018, is a promising step forward to the reliable verification of materials, which, up until now, has not been successfully applied to the garment industry.
Creating a physical trail which, involves a high-tech machine process and artificial intelligence innovation, will track every transaction through the entire value chain — a much more accurate process than the current paper-based trails of certification currently in place.
“The success of the Organic Cotton Traceability Pilot provides a positive impulse towards traceability and transparency in the value chain,” said Katrin Ley, Managing Director of Fashion for Good.
This new method combines the immutability characteristics of blockchain with on-product markers that verify the identity of the fibre and can be useful in communication between suppliers and manufacturers in working together to create a more sustainable final product.
This is the latest, in a recent string of initiatives, launched by industry leaders over the past two years. In October 2018, Kering partnered with Albini Group, Supima and Oritain to create a more sustainable business model through 100% traceable organic cotton. This summer, Pablo Isla, Inditex’s current chairman and CEO, pledged to use all organic, sustainable or recycled cotton and linen by 2025.
Implementing this method for further expansion to include other fibres in the fashion supply chain, should be the next course of action, and although there are no immediate plans for it to happen, Ley is positive that “the process shows enormous potential for further development.”
For now, educating consumers worldwide remains a key step to revolutionizing the industry as a whole. In December 2019, the Fashion for Good Experience in Amsterdam will be hosting a series of events around the importance of transparency and traceability and will showcase some of the first insights from the pilot.