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[Interview] Fibretrace technology aims to increase transparency in the fashion and textiles industry

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2021-05-11 09:38:26 – United Kingdom

Fibretrace™ is a London-based company founded in 2018 by a group of like-minded global textile industry leaders with the aim of ushering in a new age of transparency, honesty, and accountability.

The company develops supply-chain traceability solutions for the textile industry. Fibretrace technology leverages the patented nanotechnology particles embedded in cellulose fiber. These fibers can be blended into any natural or man-made fiber at any stage of the manufacturing process, with no effect on texture or performance.

Bluetooth-connected readers make the tracing fibers instantly readable, allowing users to instantly identify, verify and quantify fibers, their origin, and their journey in the supply chain.

Our recent interaction with Ms. Danielle Statham, the co-owner and director of Fibretrace, discusses the company's revolutionary technologies as well as the relevance of traceability in the textile supply chain.

YnFx: What is the story behind FibreTrace®?

Statham: Even the most conscious suppliers are unable to guarantee complete custody of supply.

The ever-increasing conversation of transparency in the supply chain drew the founders of FibreTrace to create a solution to enable 20/ 20 vision of a product from raw fiber to the end garment.

YnFx: How does FibreTrace® work?

Statham: Luminescent pigments are embedded into the raw fiber in minute quantities which does not affect the quality or output of the yarn,  fabric, or garment or its wearability. The luminescent pigment essentially creates a passport for the fiber to move through the supply chain to be traced with digital Bluetooth scanning devices which records information onto our software platform.

By connecting both, the physical product and the digital information, we enable irrefutable verification of provenance, environmental impact, location, fiber quantification, factory certification, and beyond. 

The Fibretrace™ system allows the brand and its supply chain to be connected in real-time with live connection right through to reuse and recycle, creating irrefutable storytelling for consumers.

YnFx: Which area/segment of the fashion and textiles industry requires the most attention when it comes to traceability?

Statham: Traceability is important across all areas of the supply chains to substantiate sustainability and ensure authenticity claims.  

The textile industry has long struggled with the task of identifying what a “preferred fiber” actually is. FibreTrace can offer a solution that creates and ensures the authenticity of raw fibers, providing proof of provenance which follows the entire supply with a no finish line approach. We hope this encourages the entire supply chain towards a more sustainable and transparent future.

YnFx: What part does the end-user perform when it comes to clothing made from 100% traceable fibers or supply chain?

Statham: Customers are invited to share the entire journey of their garments from seed to shelf via an in-store experience with our proprietary Bluetooth scanners or through a simple scan of a secure QR code. In doing so, we give customers the power to know where their clothes have come, the journey they have taken, and what impact it had on the environment at the raw fiber. 

YnFx: What fiber category (such as cotton, recycled polyester, cellulose, etc.) do you think is taking the most constructive approach to traceability?

Statham: Ensuring true traceability across all fiber types is an industry-wide effort to communicate that all industries are committed to doing better. The FibreTrace technology works across all man-made and natural fibers including recycled fibers.

We must be mindful that traceability is only an enabler to providing this information but it is the information itself that is most constructive.

YnFx: What are the challenges in facilitating transparency in a multi-tier textile supply chain? And how does FibreTrace® overcome these?

Statham: For a lot of brands and retailers, complete transparency can be a time-consuming task. Our team is a collaboration of fashion industry supply chain experts and with this, we have been able to understand the complexities and areas most needed to create true transparency.

The development of FibreTrace has been strategically built for the fashion industry as a plug-and-play solution to create easy adoption without disruption to existing systems. We believe the key is having the FibreTrace physical tracer implemented at the raw fiber stage to enable easy adoption and transition into the supply chain.

YnFx: What’s next for FibreTrace®?

Statham: Utopia for my team and I would be a future where all brands can take full ownership of their supply chain and therefore the full impact on individual goods.

We are currently in the final stages of commercializing leather and wool and will undoubtedly continue to expand the fibers we work across in the future - including hemp, linen & recycled down.

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