Traceability: How you can be involved
Written by Guest Blogger: Nicole Bassett, Sustainability and Supply Chain Consultant
A couple of weeks ago I attended the Outdoor Industry Association’s (OIA) trade show – Outdoor Retailer. The show brings everyone one could think of linked up with the outdoor industry. Within this larger group is a dedicated set of brands, retailers, experts, and NGOs who develop tools to support sustainability in the outdoor industry. Formally called the Sustainability Working Group these people have been instrumental in developing an index that will rank products on their social and environmental impact. The larger group is then broken up into other working groups to address issues that the industry is facing as a way to work together and expedite positive change.
One of the newly mined working groups at the show this year was a Traceability working group. Traceability has been a core element to the work that Textile Exchange provides, so it was an obvious fit that Textile Exchange partner with OIA to lead this group in developing an industry approach to traceability. The group met and the room was packed. It showed the concern within the industry of truly being able to verify that what is in our products is actually in our products.
The group convened around two specific areas; 1)the new Content Claims Standard and 2)understanding the supply chain for down. The Content Claims Standard (CCS) is a chain of custody standard which allows a supply chain to be certified for tracking a material through each of the operations along its production. This then allows for proof that the final claim made to the product is in fact the original material. For instance if a company wanted to claim to its customers that a dress is made out of rayon from bamboo and prove that the input is in fact bamboo then they would use this CCS to verify this claim.
The interest in proving claims is gaining more and more attention as customers and brands need to know what they are purchasing. Right now there are standards for organic and recycled materials, but outside of this it is difficult to have the supply chain verify materials.
So what is happening? The CCS has been developed and gone through one round of stakeholder feedback, now this traceability working group will provide a broader stakeholder review to the standard. Then Textile Exchange will release the standard for certification in the supply chain. In addition the working group will be looking at how to support adoption of the standard and train brands on how to roll it out.
Contact Textile Exchange for further information and let us know if you want to be involved.
This post is a guest blog from Nicole Bassett who is a sustainability and supply chain consultant working with the OIA member brand prAna as well as Textile Exchange.