FibreTrace to create traceable cotton supply chain in Africa
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FibreTrace to create traceable cotton supply chain in Africa

22 Nov 2021

Industrial park developer and operator ARISE IIP and traceable fibre technology company FibreTrace have announced a new pilot programme that is said to enable Africa's first fully traceable cotton supply chain.

FibreTrace to create traceable cotton supply chain in Africa

The new pilot programme between FibreTrace and ARISE IIP will enable spinner-to-garment traceability for the latter’s anticipated Republic of Benin spinning facilities at the Glo-Djigbé Industrial Zone (GDIZ).

It will bring full traceability to the vertically integrated mills, said to be the first of their kind, to trace, verify and audit the lifecycle of the garments from spinning mills to stores, sharing the journey of Benin premium cotton with end consumers.

The programme will debut in the autumn of 2022 when GDIZ spinning, fabric and garment production facilities are anticipated to start operations.

Given FibreTrace success in other cotton-growing regions, it is anticipated that the
technology will be adopted at scale across all textile processing sites and facilities in Benin and across the African sub-continent. The technology will provide transparency and true custody of supply chain solutions for brands and suppliers across the globe working with African manufacturers and supporting the growth of best practices in agriculture on the continent, ARISE IIP and FibreTrace say.

FibreTrace CEO Shannon Mercer says the partnership marks the first step in making African-grown cotton more visible to the global textile industry, and affords the farmer the opportunity to take a more prevalent role.

“We look forward to the day that the primary impact data from African farmers is combined with traceability to showcase Africa’s contribution to a better future for the textile industry,” he notes.

To guarantee the traceability of the cotton, FibreTrace embeds luminescent pigments on the fibre at the spinning mill. The pigments, indestructible throughout the entire textile
processing cycle, can be read and tracked at every stage of the supply chain, and each audit is recorded on the blockchain making the information secured, accessible and irrefutable, the firm says.

It is hoped the partnership between ARISE IIP and FibreTrace will position Benin at the forefront of textile innovation and technology, improving visibility, resilience, securing economic competitiveness, and creating a thriving value chain for Africa’s agriculture.

Gagan Gupta, founder and CEO of ARISE IIP, adds: “ARISE IIP will now be able to guarantee the sustainability of the premium cotton transformed on its industrial platforms across Africa thanks to the technology deployed by FibreTrace. Across all its industrial parks, ARISE IIP ambitions to lead the way towards the sustainable transformation of local resources, where every stage of production is transparent for the benefit of local farmers and the end consumer.

Both ARISE IIP and FibreTrace believe the events at COP26 and rising pressure from governments, legislative bodies and consumers for brands and retailers to commit to greater climate action and take full accountability for their sustainability progress, have made clear that transparency and traceability are essential to leading dialogue and meaningful change for the global textile industry.

Click here to read Just Style’s guide to COP26 and how the global apparel industry could help the world moving forward.