CottonConnect the social enterprise that focuses on creating a more sustainable and responsible cotton industry has made its TraceBale traceability platform available to the wider apparel industry to help brands address supply chain transparency challenges.
They work with various stakeholders in the cotton supply chain, including farmers, brands, and retailers, to promote sustainable farming practices and improve the livelihoods of cotton farmers.
CottonConnect’s initiatives often involve the implementation of more environmentally friendly and socially responsible agricultural methods, such as organic and Fairtrade farming practices. By collaborating with farmers and connecting them with brands and retailers, CottonConnect aims to create a more transparent and ethical cotton supply chain.
The social enterprise claims that TraceBale is the only digital platform of its kind which offers complete farm-group-to-end-garment manufacturing traceability. It took 10 years to develop and builds on CottonConnect’s work with retailers and suppliers to understand what takes place at each stage of the supply chain.
TraceBale has already been adopted by 18 retailers, including the White Company, Mark’s and C&A, and CottonConnect says making it more widely available will encourage more businesses to provide the details needed to substantiate sustainability claims.
The organization also provides training and support to cotton farmers, helping them adopt sustainable farming techniques that can lead to increased productivity, reduced environmental impact, and improved social conditions for the farmers and their communities.
CottonConnect CEO Alison Ward said: “The cotton supply chain is complex as cotton goes through multiple stages and can be traded many times, often across borders, before a finished product reaches the store.
The organisation also claims it could help brands and retailers comply with new legislation such as the European Union’s Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive by providing greater transparency of their supply chains.
Iain Summers, VP of purchasing, innovation and product development at Mark’s, commented: “TraceBale provides end-to-end product traceability, helping us track from fibre to the finished product. TraceBale is the digital traceability platform that allows us complete supply chain visibility with fibre data.”
TraceBale is now available as a standalone solution to all within the apparel sector, and also as part of CottonConnect’s REEL farmer programmes, with more information available on the TraceBale website.
CottonConnect recently linked up with DNA-marking specialist Haelixa to combine their traceability solutions for a pilot project in India which aims to deliver comprehensive cotton traceability.