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TrusTrace launches traceability ecosystem to improve fashion industry transparency

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Image: courtesy of TrusTrace

Supply chain solutions provider TrusTrace is forming a coalition of industry players to launch a traceability ecosystem to develop holistic solutions to some of the fashion industry’s biggest traceability and transparency challenges.

The new traceability ecosystem aims to accelerate sustainable transformation within the fashion industry by solving major supply chain transparency and sustainability challenges by developing powerful integrated solutions through seamless data integration and knowledge exchange.

TrusTrace states that this can only happen through collaboration and has put together a coalition of industry players including Higg, the Open Apparel Registry (OAR), Circle.Fashion, Renoon and Haelixa, which will all lend their expertise to develop solutions for both brands and eco-conscious customers.

TrusTrace chief executive and co-founder, Shameek Ghosh, said in a statement: “We are incredibly excited to launch the traceability ecosystem in collaboration with such a strong group of respected industry leaders. I have always believed that sustainability cannot exist without traceability and a challenge of this scale needs significant collaboration.

“TrusTrace’s open architecture platform ensures we are able to integrate seamlessly with other sustainability solution providers within this ecosystem, allowing us to deliver holistic solutions for some of the fashion industry’s biggest sustainability challenges.”

TrusTrace collaborates with Higg and Open Apparel Registry to accelerate sustainable transformation in the fashion industry

Image: courtesy of TrusTrace

The first phase of the traceability ecosystem launches with sustainability insights platform Higg and global apparel open-source database the Open Apparel Registry and will facilitate the integration of TrusTrace and Higg data sharing. This will help TrusTrace clients understand the social and environmental impact of their supplier facilities and their products by accessing their data from Higg on TrusTrace.

The integration will also mean that users will be able to understand the footprint of the various materials in a single location and analyse supply chain and material combinations. While customers will also be able to access the Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM) and Facility Social and Labor Module (FSLM) FLSM against their supplier facility profiles on TrusTrace to provide them with a single view of all the sustainability information for a facility.

To also enable seamless data sharing about facilities with different certification bodies, audit bodies, and other industry solutions, TrusTrace said that it is important to be able to easily identify a facility across these different systems, using one common industry-standard facility ID. Utilising the Open Apparel Registry, TrusTrace will map all its 8,000 plus supplier facilities using an industry-standard unique OAR ID and enable brands to standardise facility information across different systems like Higg, ZDHC and other certification bodies.

This collaboration it adds will address the lack of standardisation in facility information across multiple databases, to help streamline and improve facility-level information for the fashion industry.

Higg chief executive, Jason Kibbey, said: “There is a real urgency for comprehensive tools and contextualised data to help bring visibility and insight to untracked areas of the supply chain. Our partnership with TrusTrace demonstrates a joint belief that collaboration is the most effective way to develop the best tools to capture deeper insights into the chain of custody. Together we bring robust new capabilities to both platforms that will support our clients in accelerating towards their sustainability goals.”

Open Apparel Registry executive director, Natalie Grillon, added: “The opportunity for industry collaboration and accurate factory identification is given a huge boost each time another organisation chooses to programmatically connect their database with the OAR and incorporate OAR IDs into their systems.

“The more data we are openly sharing across our respective databases, the more organisations of all sizes are able to access and work with the data that is core to the collaboration and change that so many in the sector are looking to achieve.”

Image: courtesy of TrusTrace

Supply chain solutions provider TrusTrace unveils traceability ecosystem coalition

The second phase of the traceability ecosystem will launch in early 2022 with a key focus on driving physical traceability and circularity, added TrusTrace. The collaboration will be with physical marking and tracing technology solution, Haelixa, which will develop a joint traceability programme supporting end-to-end traceability through physical tracers such as invisible DNA markers.

In addition, in partnership with Circular.Fashion the ecosystem will enable brands to embed a circularity.ID into their garments to foster end-to-end traceability, transparency of the supply chain, increased customer engagement, prolonged use and recycling at end-of-life.

While Renoon, a platform that empowers eco-conscious consumers to shop according to their sustainability values, will join the TrusTrace ecosystem to collect supply chain data, manage product evidence and automate the process of checking product compliance to sustainability standards. This will provide end consumers with more accurate data driving purchase decisions and brands with a recognition for their sustainability efforts.

Founded in 2016, TrusTrace offers a platform for supply chain transparency and traceability within fashion and retail, which supports brands with risk management, compliance, product claims, footprint calculations and the ability to confidently and easily share data about product origin and impact. It is built on AI, Blockchain and BOTS, and through its open architecture, it can integrate seamlessly with retailer, manufacturer and supplier systems, as well as those of third parties such as certification agencies, lifecycle datasets and other sustainability solutions providers.

In October, the software company closed a 6 million US dollar series A investment led by Industrifonden and Fairpoint Capital, together with previous investors BackingMinds, and with support from Fashion for Good. At the time, TrusTrace said that the new capital would be used to further accelerate global expansion, expand product development, and strengthen the team to continue bringing supply chain transparency to brands who want to know what they sell, and to consumers who care about what they buy.

TrusTrace is based in Stockholm, Sweden, with offices in India and France. The company currently has a portfolio of more than 40 customers, including well-known brand and sustainability leaders like Filippa K, Zalando, Decathlon Ba&sh and Fjällräven.

Open Apparel Registry
Supply Chain