A sustainability program that allows customers to trace their garments through the supply chain has been used by 44,000 people since its launch last August.

The scheme, called Baacode and pioneered by New Zealand merino outdoor apparel company Icebreaker, invites customers to trace their garments from the farm through each stage of the supply chain process.

Each Icebreaker garment carries a unique Baacode, which customers can use online to view the living conditions of the merino sheep, meet the farmers who run the sheep stations, and follow the production process that turns merino fibre into athletic garments.
 
Icebreaker founder and CEO Jeremy Moon believes sustainable consumption begins with transparency and traceability.
 
"We are trying to design a company that is inherently self-sustaining and not at the expense of the environment," he says.

"We think transparency should be a core principle of any sustainability effort, and we're really grateful that 44,000 people cared enough to go online and see how Icebreakers are made."

Very few companies have introduced traceability programs for consumer products, and most of those that have are in the food industry.

Of those existing programs, most start at factory production level.

In contrast, Icebreaker's Baacode starts with the raw material - the sheep stations (farms) in New Zealand's Southern Alps, where the fibre is grown, sheared and baled for shipping.