Fashion Updates | Fibers / Yarns Innovations

Digital and physical traceability solutions for Indian cotton

Published: June 7, 2023
Author: Fashion Value Chain

-By Pratyasha Sarkar

Better Cotton is exploring cutting-edge traceability technologies from Retraced, TextileGenesis, Haelixa, and Tailorlux across India’s cotton supply chains, to test the most effective ways to increase transparency, 

The project carried out in association with businesses like C&A, Marks & Spencer, Target, and Walmart, will use each technology to trace cotton as it travels throughout the supply networks of taking part brands and retailers.

This will further Better Cotton’s continuing efforts to modernize traceability throughout intricate cotton supply chains and update its Chain of Custody (CoC) model. In practice, it will increase awareness of the route cotton takes from the field to the fashion industry and offer a chance to test cutting-edge technologies before Better Cotton offers traceability on a small scale this year.

The efficacy of both digital and physical traceability solutions is being evaluated in separate cotton supply chains, and the findings will guide the expanded course of Better Cotton’s traceability program. Retraced and TextileGenesis, two well-known solutions, offer digital traceability. Haelixa and Tailorlux, two additive tracers, are also being tested by Better Cotton in order to assess the possibilities of each solution.

India is one of the world’s largest producers of Better Cotton and has over a million Better Cotton farmers. Domestic supply chains, however, are much more fragmented than those in other regions and rank among the world’s most complicated. Until recently, it was challenging to acquire a comprehensive understanding of supply chain traceability. To give complete end-to-end visibility, Better Cotton’s new traceability system will need to complement and eventually surpass the capabilities of existing traceability solutions.

Better Cotton will be able to more precisely determine the source of certified materials with physical traceability. The Chain of Custody framework from Better Cotton, which includes the concept of “mass balance”—a popular volume-tracking system—will be expanded upon by this pilot initiative. While ensuring that the quantity of Better Cotton sold never exceeds the quantity produced, mass balancing enables dealers or spinners throughout the supply chain to substitute or mix Better Cotton with regular cotton. As our network expands, the new traceability framework will provide more adaptability and visibility of the physical flow of cotton via supply chains.

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