Swedish apparel brand Kappahl will use a software-as-a-service platform from TrusTrace to enhance its textile, material, and product traceability and supply chain transparency efforts and to follow responsible sourcing regulations.
Kappahl says traceability is among the key strategic pieces of its sustainability goals. The TrusTrace platform also helps enable more data-based decision-making to help improve everyday operations and to add insight into sustainable materials.
The SaaS system provides supply chain insights that help maintain responsible sourcing. That will help Kappahl and other companies meet regulations such as the Norwegian Transparency Act and the upcoming EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles.
The EU standard aims to make sure textile products are reusable, recyclable, made with recyclable materials, and produced from sustainable sources. It also looks to make sure companies’ sustainable statements are accurate.
Earlier in 2022, apparel brands Norrøna and H&M were ordered by the Norwegian Consumer Authority to stop using sustainability information on their websites due to inaccuracy concerns.
In general, the textile industry is looking to use more sustainable and recyclable materials. According to Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles, nearly all of discarded clothing and textiles can be recycled or reused but still make up more than 6% of the waste in the United States.
The American Circular Textiles group is advocating for policies to increase the reusability of materials, and a textile recycling program from Unifi called Textile Takeback aims to boost the collection of polyester-based fabric waste. The Textile Exchange says for the first time its Materials Change Insight Report shows half of the participants are using sustainably beneficial materials.
Supply chain traceability is also becoming more of a priority across industries. A Planet Tracker report says investors should demand companies have traceability systems.
TrusTrace has a focus on the apparel industry by providing more than 40 fashion and retail brands with up-to-date and verified data as materials and products move through the supply chain. The platform integrates retailer, manufacturer, and supplier systems, as well as third-party operations.
Kappahl also plans to use the TrusTrace platform to provide sustainable product information and to be transparent regarding the impact of the materials it uses. It says the system will help the company efficiently manage sustainability data for the approximately 40 million garments it sells each year.
“There is a lot of work behind each finished garment, the manufacturing process is long and involves many people – something perhaps not everyone is aware of,” says Sandra Roos, vice president of sustainability at Kappahl. “Sustainability data can be presented for an overall picture of the garment’s values, which can then be communicated to customers in a simple and accessible way.”