US-based Cone Denim has completed its first Verification of Origin audit through supply chain traceability specialist Oritain as it looks to improve transparency.

Cone announced its partnership with Oritain in September of last year, claiming to become the first denim mill globally to adopt the highest level of end-to-end traceability possible.

The results of the Oritain Audit show, with scientific certainty, that all samples analysed across Cone Denim operations in China and Mexico were compliant and zero samples were identified as coming from a restricted risk origin, which includes the Xinjiang region of China, Syria, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

Cone Denim says it is committed to maintaining a supply chain free of any form of forced labour and will undergo quarterly audits to ensure ongoing transparency and traceability.

"We are very pleased to have completed our first Oritain Audit and are able to provide scientific certainty of Cone Denim's commitment to responsible and transparent sourcing," says Steve Maggard, president Cone Denim. "Oritain's technology and process for verification is unique and provides documentable transparency that is admissible in a court of law, strengthening sustainable and ethical sourcing claims. Through scientific verification of cotton origin, our customers can be assured that Cone Denim products do not contain any cotton from prohibited regions, offering an elevated level of confidence and scientific peace of mind."

Oritain's unique method combines forensic science and statistics to detect naturally occurring elements in the cotton itself, eliminating the need for additional foreign tracers such as spray or particles. Soil composition and other environmental factors give the cotton an inherent 'fingerprint' specific to each location – what Oritain calls the Origin Fingerprint.

Once these Origin Fingerprints have been created, they cannot be tampered with, replicated or destroyed, unlike other traceability systems. Product can be tested at any point in the supply chain to verify origin claims. To date, Oritain has mapped over 90% of the world's cotton.