London - As more retailers and brands become more transparent, the conventional "Made In"labeling system is no longer sufficient for consumers eager to know exactly where their clothing was made. Encouraged by global initiatives such as Fashion Revolution, slow-fashion brand Asket is launching a new standard, which discloses each step of their garment's journey - from the cotton seed up to the final piece in store.
The Stockholm-based menswear brand, known for its stance on sustainability and unconventional activities, is proposing a new industry standard for garment tracing. By breaking down each and every garment into its smallest components and tracing them back to their origin and then sharing this information on the garment itself, Asket is offering consumers what it calls "Full Traceability."
Asket offers consumers Full Traceability, so they can track its products from cotton seed to the finished garment
"Transparency in the supply chain and value chain is extremely important for several reasons," said co-founder August Bard Bringéus to FashionUnited. "On the one hand it sheds light the fact that an enormous amount of steps, carried out across all of the world, are involved in creating a garment. By giving the customer all the information, information that was formerly impossible to get, we're providing knowledge and empowering everyone to make an active choice."
"Most importantly, by highlighting and uncovering the true value chain of a garment, brands, factories and subcontractors can no longer hide behind the vagueness of the traditional "Made In" labels," added Bringéus. "As we open up the value chain, we're forcing the industry as a whole to consider the true cost of the garments we make and we're putting pressure on improving working conditions and the environmental impact of the garments we put out there."
Until up now, most retailers use 'Made In' labels, which provide little to no information on the actual origin and manufacturing conditions of the garments sold. But under "Full Traceability", consumers are able to trace every Asket garment all the way through the supply chain to the end product in store. The Oxford shirt from Asket is the first garment to offer full traceability, and the label is set to expand this to the rest of its 16 piece permanent collection. Consumers are able to follow the progress of each individual garment online at asket.com
"Technically garments are always 'Made In' one single country," pointed out Bringéus. "Practically that’s never the full story. So we’re replacing the conventional ‘Made In” labels in our garments with an entirely new label, putting the full answer to the question #WhoMadeMyClothes right where it needs to be - in our garments." Asket aims for its new system to become an industry standard and for consumers to expect this level of transparency from any brand.
"We’ve been unconventionally transparent from the start, but it’s only now that we’re really asking all the questions. By the end of the year, we want every garment to be 100 percent traceable," he concluded. "Our hope is to inspire more brands to follow. Setting a higher standard for transparency forces us to consider the true cost of the garments we make and buy."
Asket new, industry standard comes as more retailers and brands work to become more transparent ahead of the five year anniversary of the deadliest accident in the garment industry's history, Rana Plaza.
Photos: Courtesy of Asket