The trend: Brands are implementing textile traceability programs to provide more transparency into where their raw materials are coming from, as well as their toll on the environment.
How it works: Both TextileGenesis and TrusTrace use blockchain technology and AI to help trace materials from their origin to the final product.
Why it matters: With 45% of internet users worldwide interested in buying exclusively from circular and sustainable brands, per a Capgemini survey, it’s become increasingly important for retailers to show they’re serious about their environmental commitments.
The drawbacks: Many of these initiatives are reliant on suppliers providing information on a textile’s source and sustainability. Without a third party to audit suppliers’ claims, retailers could inadvertently continue using harmful or unethically sourced materials, despite their best intentions.
The big takeaway: While textile tracing is an admirable initiative for retailers to adopt, it’s ultimately a small step for an industry that is struggling to mitigate its enormous environmental impact.