TextileGenesis Starts New Collaboration for Footwear, Leather Traceability

Pair of leather boots

(Credit: Unsplash)

by | Feb 2, 2024

TextileGenesis has launched two consortia to improve materials tracking throughout footwear and leather supply chains, working to strengthen transparency and promote sustainable practices in the industries.

The collaborations will implement TextileGenesis’ eTrackit traceability platform, made in collaboration with Textile Exchange, and will encourage the sharing of information needed for detailed supply chain tracking. The companies’ SaaS platform is able to digitally quantify the amount of material taken from a given source, then follow materials along the supply chain up until the retail stage.

According to TextileGenesis, the nature of the footwear and leather industries often makes materials difficult to trace — footwear can contain more than 50 parts, while the leather industry is known to have an opaque and fragmented supply chain. The platform may help simplify tracing, helping companies identify sustainable material suppliers and identifying other areas for improvement.

The new collaboration brings together key players from the fashion industry, including fiber producers, material standard organizations, and industry associations like Lenzing, Coats, Fashion for Good, and the Forest Stewardship Council, along with seven leading global fashion brands.

TextileGenesis also recently signed an agreement with the International Cotton Association to implement its eTrackit program and is looking to extend its impact within the fashion industry.

EU Deforestation-Free Rule to Require Traceability of Materials

Supply chain traceability is a known method for companies looking to improve sustainable sourcing and lower emissions.

Starting at the end of this year, many European Union-based companies will be required to trace their supply chains to identify potential sources of deforestation.

EU imports currently account for about 16% of global deforestation, so the ruling aims to ensure that products Europeans buy, specifically from the soy, beef, palm oil, wood, cocoa, coffee, and rubber industries, avoid this impact going forward. The ruling is expected to reduce emissions by at least 32 million tons per year and mitigate biodiversity loss once implemented.

Leather producers, which rely on livestock supply, will soon be one of the industries expected to report for this new ruling.

“While, to date, the traceability of the leather value chain remains a complex challenge for the fashion industry, it is essential to ensure that the leather originates from sources free of deforestation,” said Katrin Ley, managing director of Fashion for Good. “Additionally, with this set to be addressed by the upcoming EUDR legislation, TextileGenesis’ initiative to unite various actors in the supply chain to tackle these complexities comes at an opportune time.”

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