The collaboration includes Vietnam-based manufacturers Fashion Enterprise, and R&T Industry, not-for-profit The Woolmark Company, polyester fibre producer Indorama, cloud based SAAS platform FibreTrace and Garment Assembly.
The Woolmark Company sponsored the Indorama testing and provided crucial support. Indorama, a Woolmark-certified spinning expert based in Thailand, successfully applied the FibreTrace technology to the wool tops.
Fashion Enterprise and R&T Industry were responsible for commissioning the pilot and played vital roles in the weaving and knitting processes, resulting in the production of high-quality wool suiting fabric and fully fashioned knit yarns.
By implementing FibreTrace technology, Fashion Enterprise and R&T Industry explain they can now offer traceable Australian Merino wool, ensuring visibility and accountability from spinner to shelf.
With the second phase already underway, applying the technology at the scouring stage, the companies add they are now on track to provide a seamless traceability solution for the entire supply chain. This includes Australian scouring, China top making, top dying, yarn spinning, and garment knitting in Vietnam.
The completion of the pilot was made possible through The Woolmark Company’s wool donation and is said to have marked a significant milestone in the project.
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Approximately 200 kilograms of Australian Merino wool fibre underwent testing at Indorama with promising results. Building on this success, the commercial pilot will involve 2.4 tonnes of Australian Merino wool fibre, focusing exclusively on knitting yarn production.
“The FibreTrace platform offers the perfect solution to tracing the textile and fashion supply chain from farm to consumers. Not only are we proud to be the first to offer this solution in Vietnam but we are very excited to offer FibreTrace for both Australian Merino wool along with Good Earth Cotton regenerative cotton from Australia,” said Rodney Thanh, CEO of Fashion Enterprise, and CEO of R&T Industry.
With the successful proof of concept and promising progress in phase 2, the wool tops are expected to be ready in early June 2023, followed by yarn production in August of the same year.
R&T Industry plans to launch traceable Australian Merino wool in the market soon and the manufacturers state clothing brands such as Cue, Veronika Maine, and Country Road have already expressed interest in carrying traceable wool on their shelves.
Responding to the demand, bulk production is scheduled to commence in October with availability in stores for Winter 2024 by February.