US: Jeans retailer offers traceability from field to closet
US jeanswear retailer All American Clothing Co is offering consumers the opportunity to trace the origin of their jeans all the way back to the farmers who grew the cotton used to make them.
The company says it is the first retailer in the world to offer the 'traceability technology' that lets shoppers know where their jeans were grown and sewn in the US and tracks every step of the manufacturing process.
The process works by marking bales of cotton with a permanent bale identifier (PBI) as they are ginned, which relates to the producer's farm number. This number is retained on the bale until the bale is consumed at the textile mill to produce yarn.
The yarn produced at the mill carries the same identification number through the entire process that creates denim fabric. Use of PBI numbers also means the company knows exactly how much cotton from each farm was used in the cotton blends that produce each run of denim.
To trace the origin of their jeans, consumers can log on to the company's website and enter the "traceability number" that comes with the jeans. A map will then open to show the exact farm that grew the cotton.
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