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Blockchain tracing pilot program shows big success

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2021-06-23 08:20:07 – Netherlands

Fashion for Good, based in Amsterdam, is celebrating the successful completion of the Viscose Traceability Pilot, a consortium project with partners Bestseller and Kering to trace sustainable viscose in garments using the TextileGenesis blockchain tracing solution.

With an estimated 30% of viscose originating from endangered forests, the TextileGenesis solution's certification is a crucial step toward value chain transparency and ensuring fibres come from renewable sources.

Bestseller and Kering each supplied four clothing styles, for a total of roughly 23,000 product units catalogued and monitored on the TextileGenesis platform. The clothes were traced through 25 suppliers from 7 countries (Austria, Bangladesh, China, Germany, India, Italy, and Turkey), with compositions ranging from 100% sustainable viscose – manufactured by Lenzing, ENKA, and Tangshan Sanyou – to blends with generic fibres.

Head of materials innovation at Kering, Christian Tubito, said since 2013, they've been working at their Materials Innovation Lab to find materials that can reduce their effect on people and the environment while still providing our Luxury Houses with fabrics and textiles that satisfy the highest quality requirements for their collections. The Fashion For Good-led Viscose Traceability Pilot is one of the solutions they're considering to help them achieve their objective of 100% traceability for their core materials by 2025.

Flexibility, interoperability, and scalability were identified as 3 key dimensions against which the success of the TextileGenesis platform and pilot might be measured.

Fibrecoins are a blockchain-based digital token used by the TextileGenesis platform to create a "digital twin" for sustainable fibres. Every kilogramme of fibre generated is represented on the platform by one Fibrecoin. Players in the supply chain can move these digital currencies in tandem with the creation of textile goods as they travel through the system.

The platform's versatility in capturing the vast, real-world complexity of vertically-integrated suppliers, encompassing stages from fiber manufacturing to garment manufacture, as well as extremely fragmented supply chains, was shown thanks to this tokenization methodology. This revealed fresh information about product movement while also emphasising the necessity of integrating physical and digital components to create a more robust traceability system.

The use of physical tracer certificates indicates the platform's interoperability, or its capacity to connect with and aggregate data from other systems. Future improvements of the TextileGenesis platform will include Canopy Hot-Button Ranking data and next-generation viscose lines, which will be available not just to the participating pilot businesses, but to all other manufacturers utilising the platform as well, thanks to this consortium initiative.

The distinct physical traceability techniques employed by Lenzing and ENKA were incorporated into the platform as part of the pilot, making it the first time that various physical traceability approaches were combined in a single platform at the garment level.

After simultaneous onboarding 25 suppliers in 4-6 weeks, they were able to utilize the system independently after only one training session, demonstrating the platform's scalability in terms of supplier onboarding and simplicity of use.

The TextileGenesis platform and solution will be scaled with Fashion for Good partners beyond viscose to include additional sustainable fibers such as organic cotton and recycled polyester as a result of the pilot's success. Six additional fiber companies will participate in pilots for sustainable viscose, recycled polyester, and organic cotton on their own. The scaling phase of these pilots will be continued by Lenzing and Tangshan.

Textile Genesis CEO and founder, Amit Gautam, said this was a genuine cross-industry consortium approach, with brands, sustainable fiber producers, textile suppliers, and other important industry stakeholders all participating. They showed that digital supply chain traceability and physical tracer verification are complementary rather than substitutive and that they, along with the traceability data protocol, constitute the foundation of a holistic system. Their goal is to become the industry's technological backbone, allowing all sustainable material supply chain transactions to be validated and monitored in a robust, dependable, and scalable manner.

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