The Importance of Traceability

The fashion industry’s impact on climate change is undeniable and while there is little hope that the industry will be able to meet its 2030 emissions goals, there is a call for better access to up-to-date data on the fashion industry’s social and environmental impact. Such data may in turn put pressure on the industry to steer itself back onto the path aligning with the Paris Climate agreement target of 1.5 degrees.

In an article in Fashion for Good, “traceability” data is seen as key to tracking the industry’s carbon footprint. Broadly speaking, traceability is tracing the origins of products and materials and following them through every step of the fashion supply chain. It is said that tracking and disclosing this information to the public, may help ensure that industry’s social and environmental claims are accurate and lawful. 

However, traceability is easier said than done within the infamously complex global supply chain. The process would include mapping the life of the product, as well as managing product certifications and special labelling, while also ensuring the accurate communication of information to consumers.

That said, competencies are sure to improve as the demand for traceability tools are expected to grow. Governments are gradually implementing policies on sustainability claims and practices and consumers are starting to prioritise products based on sustainability criteria. When it comes to reducing carbon, water and textile waste, however, this is where company transparency becomes more crucial than traceability. 

There are already many traceability innovations emerging, and many are a part of Fashion for Good’s innovation program.

Some names include Satma CE, Vaayu, Made2Flow, Oritain, TextileGenesis, InfiniChains, VeChain, and MonoChain.
Fashion for Good has also published the Textile Tracer Assessment report, which is a “detailed analysis for benchmarking physical tracer technologies relevant in the textile industry.”


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