TRANSPARENCY AND TRACEABILITY in the fashion supply chain

How to achieve traceability and transparency in the fashion supply chain?

Nicolò Giusti and Nicolò Duranti from Sustainable Talks with N&N interviewed our founder Massimo Brandellero about the ID Factory project and how The ID Factory can help to achieve sustainability. 

 

What is for Massimo Sustainability? 

Sustainability is a journey that starts when you change your mind a bit, between knowing it and realizing it.

Realizing means you get it, and at this point you start, it is the beginning.

All the actions that you will make, will drive you to that destination. But it will be a destination that you will never achieve because sustainability is a never ending journey.

Sustainability is something that goes into the area of generativity, creating. 

 
How do you think your setup, your program and your tools help sustainability? 

You can improve only what you can measure, to measure you need to map, to map you need transparency.

Our job is measurement and trace. We can nominate, we can approve but how to trace that everything is happening?

How to trace that every day the right supplier is requiring the right material, on the right colour to the right sourcing?

How to prove that all the flow back is happening as was required?

 

Only 50% of the Brands has a traceability of at least one material to the raw material. 

But generally only 6% have traceability to the raw material suppliers. 

 
When the brand says that it can trace the material is not always true. Are brands tracing materials?

I just have a look at the amazing job that Fashion Revolution is doing. They start in 2017 to create this transparency index. Traceability is one of the main pillars actually.

In 2020 they interviewed 250 brands with the average traceability of only 16% it is a long way to go. 

 
How does ID Factory work?

At the beginning are the brands who share with us their Tier 1 suppliers than Tier 2 suppliers and that Tier 3 suppliers and this link works in both directions.

It’s a dynamic link because every single purchase order of material has to be placed on the platform by the buyer and the seller should give all the information about the delivery, about whatever additional traceability may be required, directly on the platform.

So the interaction is a dynamic interaction into a platform that gives transparency and traceability in the full supply chain and the brand on top of that. 

 
What is the benefit for the brand?

Simply having transparency and real-time information. You don’t need to ask, you just have to look. 

 
How much can we trace back?

A case of leather specifically that we had is going to have traceability to the slaughterhouse actually.  So for this project, we actually involve a kind of sourcing that this tannery has,  they have a proof of sourcing directly from the slaughterhouse. 

So we are linking slaughterhouse delivery to a production drum that then became a finished product that then goes to the factory. 

 
What do you think about certification? 

Let’s say I’m not really Pro certification but not because of the Certification itself.

I believe that the product is not born to be certified but being created to have a value and to give a value.

Certification is doing the dirty job that in some cases companies cannot manage.

 
Where did you start?

I like the problems, I really love the problems. 

I was 25 sitting on a sofa in the office, people talking about leather that I never sold in my previous two years.

 
What brings you to leave the leather or park the leather and to move to the ID Factory?

In 2008 I set up my first company in leather sales that give me a lot of experience in terms of Supply Chain management. 

Experience linked the requirement that these Brands with jeopardized supply chains in the far east and the tanneries. I mean creating these links gave me a lot of insight about how things were happening and why were happening.

In 2012 there was Greenpeace and their detox campaign.

This campaign created the situation that in several Brands organizations born this area of sustainability. Ten years ago was another era if we talk about sustainability in fashion, nobody was talking about that. 

That’s the reason why I set up a tool that matches the information that was in a kind of database with a physical product, that was the leather.

A kind of interface with the tanneries, the factories and the brand that can interact in the same platform. 

So every hide was linked with a QR code directly to the specific information of the platform.

 

The reason was traceability.

 

I had this problem: to identify when I was in front of the leather in the factories the product that I was supplying.

I was producing the same product in two suppliers and I didn’t even know which one it was. I didn’t know who produced it and what was my supply chain, my tr1 supply chain.

In 2015 the spin-off was created that was The ID Factory.

 
It’s a platform where Brands can log-in and can manage their own supply chain to give transparency

A big stronger focus on data. We consider our platform as a data-centric Supply Chain management platform.

 
Are you focusing on leather or you do all the materials?

We started the beginning only talking about leather because this was our background and one season after, so ready directly to 2016, we started with textile and PU.

Today we are covering basically all the components: accessories, sole, outsole, packaging.

The structure of the supply chains of the fashion industry is very similar. How they are managed is a bit different.

The first point is which data they have? The second point is what is the real commitment that they have?

It’s required a real commitment by the brand. If the Brand wants to do it and has a strong committee on that then this commitment can be transferred to the supply chain and things happen.

Take a look to the full video to dicover how to reach transparency in the fashion supply chain.

 

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