Reinhart is utilising the DNA-based traceability solution from Haelixa to offer for the first time together with cotton ginning company Alliance Ginneries traceable GOTS compliant cotton from Tanzania. It says Haelixa’s solution brings security and transparency to the spinning mill customers and their retail clients.

The collaboration saw Haelixa develop a unique marker for Reinhart that was then applied directly at the gin in Tanzania with the customised automated sprayer developed by Haelixa.

Traceability is guaranteed through testing the final garment or any intermediate product to authenticate the marked organic cotton from Tanzania. A mill can buy the traceability package directly from Haelixa, which means a defined number of traceability tests will be done with the products in the Haelixa labs. Haelixa will ask the mill or the brand to send in samples to verify traceability. After each test a certificate is issued that confirms traceability of the product back to the region of Mwanza, Tanzania.

Mills and brands also have the opportunity to use the “Marked & Traced by Haelixa” label to communicate the commitment to transparency through traceability to their customers.

Marco Bänninger, head trader at Reinhart, says: “Again and again we hear from our supply chain partners and especially from retailers that it is becoming more and more important to know exactly where the cotton comes from. Furthermore, they want to be sure that they are guaranteed to get the cotton for which they are paying a premium. With the Haelixa marker we would like to offer our customers an additional security.”

Gediminas Mikutis, CTO and co-founder of Haelixa, adds the partnership marks the first physically traceable organic cotton from Africa.

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“Traceability of the raw material will increase the visibility of organic cotton farmed in Africa. It is a first step towards a more significant role for the growers in the textile value chain.”

Last month, Haelixa partnered on a new pilot project under a United Nations initiative to give sustainable rural cotton producers in Peru more visibility in the value chain.

Haelixa will work with Costach, said to be the main cooperative of cotton farmers in Peru, and Peruvian textile company Creditex on the pilot which is launching under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) initiative, which aims to enhance transparency and traceability in the garment and footwear industry.