A new raw fibre benchmarking tool has been developed that allows brands and suppliers to accurately capture, verify and trace environmental performance data – including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – at farm level.

The Fibre Impact Module (FIM) from traceability technology specialist FibreTrace, collects and aggregates previously uncaptured data from individual farms. This includes carbon emissions, water use, energy consumption and chemical use, all of which is third party verified by an internationally recognised certification body.

A unique FibreTrace luminescent pigment is then embedded in the raw fibres, which can be traced in real time at each step of the global textile supply chain using a handheld FibreTrace Bluetooth scanner that identifies and quantifies the pigment in fibre, yarn, fabric and finished goods. The encrypted data is sent into secure blockchain and software that has been specifically designed for the textile and apparel supply chain.

The result is that brands can now trace their supply chains and verify fibre content, as well as see the impact of the raw fibre from farm level.

"The FIM changes the narrative for sustainable cotton going forward," says Andrew Olah of the Transformers Foundation. "As a farmer you are either carbon neutral, or positive or you are negative and that's that."

FibreTrace has partnered with Climate Friendly, an Australian-based consultancy and pioneer of carbon farming to develop the FIM and to engage directly with farmers around the world about transitioning to a more climate positive future.

The tool ensures full transparency for the global textile industry from raw fibre source, which sets the stage for continuous improvement overtime based on real and verified data.

"As farmers, we have invested a lot of time and energy into making our farm carbon positive and with FibreTrace and the FIM we are able to share that with the world," says Danielle Statham of Good Earth Cotton, the first carbon positive cotton farm in Australia.

The Fibre Impact Module (FIM) will be commercially available in March 2021 and can be deployed on cotton, Better Cotton, e3, organic cotton. Plans are to include other natural fibres including wool, linen, hemp, viscose and leather in the near future.

The FibreTrace platform is available at leading suppliers around the world using natural, synthetic and post-consumer recycled fibres.