Apparel brands seem to be in a race to announce their respective 100 percent sustainable fibers goals.Recently, Inditex announced its ambition to achieve 100 percent sustainable fiber use by 2025, and before that, Ralph Lauren set a similar goal.Our research at TextileGenesis TM reveals that the majority of top 100 brands have announced 100 percent sustainable fibers goals for the next three to five years.This is a highly commendable move by the apparel industry which has been perceived as sluggish in addressing social and environmental challenges.
However, for the majority of apparel brands, supply chain transparency is limited to Tier 1 or Tier 2 suppliers, like the garment makers or finished fabric suppliers.Indeed, according to Fashion Revolution, only 10 out of the top 250 apparel brands can identify the Tier 4 and Tier 5 fiber supplier for their apparel collections.
The‘ 95 % traceability gap’ refers to the phenomenon of apparel brands wanting to achieve a 100 percent sustainable fibers target, but having limited to no visibility on their textile fiber suppliers.How will the CEOs and executive boards of these brands demonstrate realization of their sustainable fibers target(proudly announced at their shareholder meetings) in the absence of no transparency up to the origin of fiber itself ? In our view, sustainability and TextileGenesis TM 2 transparency are two intimately connected sides of the same coin.No credible sustainability journey or goal is possible without underpinning it with transparency.
“‘95 % traceability gap’ refers to the phenomenon of major brands wanting to achieve 100 percent sustainable fibers target, but 95 % of the top 100 brands have limited to no visibility across the supply chain tiers up to their textile fiber suppliers(i.e.Tier 4 or 5).”
As more apparel brands join the‘ 100 percent sustainable fibers club, ’we need to challenge the industry that the deep - rooted transparency paradox is meaningfully addressed by striving for the full value - chain transparency from textile fibers to retail.In the absence of fiber - to - retail transparency, it’ s not possible to achieve the above sustainability objectives.
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