Lenzing – The Lenzing Group has made a huge leap forward in introducing blockchain technology, allowing for a new level of transparency and traceability in the textile industry. After joining the platform of the technology company TextileGenesis™ earlier this year, the world market leader in specialty fibers made from the renewable raw material wood presented the first pilot at this year’s Fashion Summit in Hong Kong on September 05, 2019. This pioneering pilot project was conducted in close cooperation with TextileGenesis™, WWF and Hong Kong based brand Chicks.
A baseline survey on EU consumer attitudes to sustainability and supply chain transparency in the fashion industry conducted by Ipsos MORI in October 2018 shows that a large majority of consumers (80 %) wants brands to disclose their supply chain. The blockchain technology enables brands and consumers to identify TENCEL™ branded fibers across each production and distribution step from fiber-to-retail of the finished garment or home textiles. The technology also allows consumers to verify the garment composition and the underlying textile supply chain at the point of sale, simply by scanning the barcode with a mobile device.
“Together with TextileGenesis™ we pursue the ambitious goal to achieve an unparalleled level of transparency for fashion brands and consumers. We will use blockchain technology to maximize the digital traceability of fibers, thus making an important contribution to green up the fashion industry”, says Stefan Doboczky, Chief Executive Officer of the Lenzing Group. “This strong belief in and commitment to sustainability will support the business with TENCEL™ fibers.”
In an industry’s first, Lenzing issued blockchain based TENCEL™ fibercoins to its supply chain partners in direct relation to physical shipments. These digital tokens serve as an authentication mechanism, against any adulteration, and provides secure digital chain-of-custody across the entire textile value chain. Recognizing that data integrity and ease of use are critical, the supply chain players conducted transactions through the data upload mechanism on the platform. To ensure real-world complexity, a total of 49 distinct garment stock-keeping unit (~25000 pieces), of Chicks, were tracked on the digital platform from fibers up to retail.
“This is an important milestone for the apparel industry. Our focus is to drive meaningful step-change in an industry where less than 5 percent of top 250 apparel brands can track their garments back to the fiber origin”, says Amit Gautam, CEO & Founder of TextileGenesis™.
Lenzing is carrying out further pilot tests over the next few months involving partners along the entire value chain and expects the platform to be fully operational as of 2020.