Sustainability remains a ‘hot topic’ within the fashion industry and its ever-shifting environmental, social and political landscape. As manufacturers, brands, and retailers launch more products which are labelled ‘eco-conscious,’ ‘environmentally friendly,’ or ‘sustainable’, the number of greenwashing accusations has also been substantially increasing. From household names to fast-fashion retailers and luxury brands, companies have been called out for greenwashing in its many forms, including false product material labeling and misleading sustainable claims.
Misleading claims go even further when you consider the complexity of the global supply chains brands and retailers work within. Since globalized mass production remains the norm within fashion, the immediate need for increased transparency is only exacerbated. This makes traceability throughout the entire supply chain, from the yarn spinner to the retailer, critical for a truly sustainable fashion industry. Only by enabling complete visibility at every stage of garment production, can manufacturers and brands establish a clear overview of how, where, and with which materials the garment is made.
A transparent overview not only helps combat greenwashing, but also establishes a strong trust that is fundamental to all stakeholders for building reliable sustainability credentials. This is where companies like leading fiber manufacturer Lenzing see digitalization as a necessity to the cause. Spurred on by the pandemic, technological solutions are helping manufacturers gain visibility into their supply chains. Market offerings that help verify the origins of fiber materials or fabric production have now made it easier for manufacturers and retailers to gain more transparency in their supply chains.
Achieving transparency and traceability in supply chains with digital solutions
To drive this, Lenzing follows a four-pillar approach to help create a more sustainable fashion and textile industry that revolves around traceability and transparency. Lenzing’s fiber identification technology and E-Branding Service are the foundation of its unique approach to transparency, while supply chain collaboration and downstream value chain tracking via blockchain helps maximum traceability.
Beginning with the innovative production process that makes fibers identifiable even in fabrics and garments, Lenzing’s fiber identification technology is able to verify usage of its fibers across the textile value chain. This allows full fiber origin traceability, providing brands and retailers with the assurance that their products are made of authentic TENCEL™ branded fibers that are produced in facilities that meet high environmental standards. Tapping into the blockchain- based tracking system powered by TextileGenesis™, Lenzing’s partner brands can trace each step of production from fiber to retail.
In addition, Lenzing's ongoing collaboration with the supply chain enables end-to-end planning, agility and responsiveness guided by the objective to reduce environmental impact.
Communicate fiber authenticity with support from the E-Branding Service
To couple ongoing efforts to ensure traceability, Lenzing goes one step further with the introduction of an E-Branding Service platform that provides value-added service and support to the value chain. Developed as a one-stop online solution, the Lenzing E-Branding Service platform enables customers along its value chain and brand partners to apply for fabric certification and product licenses, and download brand assets for marketing purposes.
Fiber verification is a key component of the E-Branding Service platform as it requires internal testing of the fabrics to assure authentic TENCEL™ branded fibers are used. With the fabric certification number, users of the E-Branding Service platform can apply for product licenses to use TENCEL™ brand assets for product labelling or promotional content. Apart from ready- made product hangtags for in-store promotions, in line with the increase in online shopping, Lenzing also offers a Digital Hangtag tool on the E-Branding Service platform, so brands can help consumers easily find products made with TENCEL™ branded fibers, learn more about the garment and make informed purchase decisions when shopping online. Everything is done online via the E-Branding Service platform, allowing partners to use its services anytime anywhere.
To enhance user experience, the E-Branding Service platform is constantly updated to bring greater convenience to users. Stay tuned to more updates as Lenzing continues to refine its services to digitalize the textile industry.