GERMANY: New tool to track and manage apparel supply chains
A new online platform that will enable brands, retailers and manufacturers to track and manage the sustainability of their supply chains is due to be launched this summer.
The MySTeP tool is being developed by Oeko-Tex, whose Sustainable Textile Production (STeP) certification system was rolled out last year and evaluates environmentally friendly and socially responsible manufacturing facilities.
However, Oeko-Tex says all companies in the textile industry can use the new product, whether or not they have Oeko-Tex certification.
To access the MySTeP dashboard, companies are required to register for the platform, and will have the option of various license packages depending on the number of users.
They can then contact STeP certified production plants within the system and request the release of their data. The STeP plants decide whether data is displayed to the requesting dashboard user, and if so, which data the user sees.
This can include, for example, contact details and production data (spinning mill, weaving mill, finishing facility or manufacturer of ready-made clothes), the validity period of the STeP certification, and the total score and evaluation of the operation's individual company areas. On request, STeP certified suppliers can also release additional information such as audit reports.
Based on the key performance indicators (KPI) provided, brands, retailers, and manufacturers will be able to improve their supply chains by comparing suppliers in areas such as quality, efficiency, environmental friendliness, and social responsibility.
It should also help simplify the selection of new suppliers in countries and global regions, as well as help identify and eliminate possible risks in the existing supply chain.
The MySTeP dashboard will also help in the management of existing Oeko-Tex certificates, in the form of a validity check or through automatic notification when certificates expire.
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