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Bengaluru tech firm powers global fashion traceability project

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Fashion for Good has successfully completed the Viscose Traceability Pilot, a consortium project with Fashion for Good partners BESTSELLER and Kering to trace sustainable viscose in garments using Bengaluru-based TextileGenesis’ blockchain tracing solution.

TextileGenesis is a pioneering traceability platform custom built for the apparel ecosystem. Its technology combines blockchain with GS1 traceability standard for the apparel industry.

“This was a true cross-industry consortium approach with broad engagement of brands, sustainable fibre producers, textile suppliers, and key industry stakeholders. In this pilot, we demonstrated that the digital supply chain traceability and physical tracer verification are complementary (not substitutes), and along with the traceability data protocol form the building blocks of a holistic system. Our vision is to become the industry’s technology backbone where fibre-to-retail supply chain transactions of all sustainable materials can be verified and tracked in a robust, reliable and scalable manner,” says Amit Gautam, CEO and Founder, Textile Genesis.

With an estimated 30% of viscose sourced from endangered forests, the validation of TextileGenesis’ solution is an important step towards transparency in the value chain, and ensuring fibres originate from renewable sources.

“Fashion for Good initiates projects such as the Viscose Traceability Pilot to share knowledge and learnings attained in critical challenge areas with the entire industry. Specifically, we want to inspire all players, innovators, suppliers and brands, to work towards and implement changes with the potential to shift the needle. We’re calling for industry-wide collaboration to embed and build on traceability solutions within the value chain, and ensure the protection of natural resources and forests.” – Katrin Ley, Managing Director at Fashion for Good

Facilitated by Fashion for Good, the consortium project is a collaboration with BESTSELLER and Kering with support from Zalando. BESTSELLER and Kering each contributed four garment styles, totalling around 23,000 product units which were cataloged and successfully tracked on the TextileGenesis platform. The garments, made with varying compositions; from 100% sustainable viscose – produced by Lenzing, ENKA and Tangshan Sanyou, to blends with generic fibres, were traced through 25 suppliers from seven countries; Austria, Germany, Italy, Turkey, India, Bangladesh, and China.

“The Viscose Traceability Pilot we’ve joined, led by Fashion For Good, is one of the options we’re looking at to support us in reaching our goal of 100% traceability for our key materials by 2025,” says Christian Tubito, Head of Materials Innovation, Kering.

“In this pilot, BESTSELLER has successfully traced more than 22,500 styles. We believe in the potential of this solution and have just agreed to an upscaled second pilot where we will double the number of supply chain partners – including spinners, weavers and manufacturers – and trace one million styles through a fibre-based approach. Starting out with viscose, we are now looking into organic cotton as well as the compatibility with BESTSELLER’s existing digital systems – achieving one success at a time,” Adds Camilla Skjønning Jørgensen, Sustainable Materials & Innovation Manager, BESTSELLER.