Whether a product is made of hemp, cashmere, merino wool, linen, silk, cotton, rayon, or bamboo, consumers rely on product labels to reflect the true content and authenticity of the product. Consumers are also the beneficiaries of “fast fashion”, and are accustomed to ordering and receiving products they purchase quickly.
The pressure to do everything faster, better and cheaper, also creates challenges for brands, retailers and their supply chain partners to fulfill the consumer demand – responsibly, ethically and efficiently. It’s tough!
Labeling Laws are Clear
That said, international textile labeling laws are clear – brands and retailers should not make product claims they cannot verify. It follows that brands and retailers as such, should not claim they have a traceability system if they do not physically trace raw materials.
Supply Chain Risks are Clear
Supply chain risks are clear – every time “fiber” changes hands on its path to market, the potential for fiber substitution increases. This in turn increases the risk to the supply chain for the use of alternative fibers. In the case of “dirty cotton”, it is widely known within the textile community, that Uzbekistan cotton is known for the use of forced slave labor in production. For example, country-of-origin labels do not imply that an apparel product is wholly made in the origin that is stated. In fact country of origin labels reflect the smallest value in the product- the assembly and do not offer visibility or traceability into the origin of the raw material.
As such there is a need for traceability that goes beyond a paper document that can trace the physical product itself from source to shelf.
Providing CertainT® in an uncertain supply chain
Applied DNA provides a system to tag, test and track the fiber to finished goods. It’s called CertainT and it can help secure supply chains through the use of forensic systems that provide scientific proof and physical traceability on the product itself. The patented forensic, molecular technologies are designed to protect supply chains, and in turn, support the claims made to consumers, through the novel use of CertainT molecular tagging of the original raw materials used in the manufacture of finished goods to be sold at retail. Applied DNA’s unique molecular tags are engineered to be extremely robust and survive through all stages of standard textile manufacture.