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April 20, 2022

Haelixa pilot to mark and trace sustainable cotton in Peru value chain

Swiss product traceability specialist Haelixa has 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.

By Beth Wright

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.

With the support of the +Cotton Project, implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), the pilot will mark and trace Pima cotton for Creditex directly at the gin in Piura, Peru.

Haelixa’s DNA marker connects the actual lint cotton to the entry on a blockchain system provided by UNECE. The Haelixa technology ensures the information about the product origin and the journey of the product along the value chain is always safely embedded into the product itself. The marked cotton will be used to make exclusive pajamas sets for Cat´s Pajamas. DNA traceability will enable the verification of the premium origin of Peruvian Pima cotton in the final garment produced using sustainable practices by family farmers associated with the Costach cooperative.

Gediminas Mikutis, CTO and co-founder of Haelixa, says: “Physical traceability becomes a key element in creating awareness for the producers of the raw material and manufacturers that are at the beginning of the value chain as consumers want to know who made their garments and under which circumstances they have been produced. For brands, traceability provides not only an important mechanism to support their sustainability claims, but is also a great starting point for storytelling, giving their partners in the supply chain a face and voice.”

Ricardo Yarleque, general manager of Costach, adds it is essential for the organisation to participate in traceability initiatives that allow inclusion and give visibility to the important role of small family farmers in the production of Peruvian cotton.

Ricardo Dancuart, Creditex commercial manager for the yarn division concurs, adding: “Sustainability and traceability of the products are now very important both for the final customer as for our global environment. We are very interested in this new way to follow the fibre from the ginning to the garment, whilst we at the same time improve all the processes to reduce contamination and damage caused by the industry, producing better and more durable garments.”

Creditex is vertically integrated from cotton ginning to fine thread, up to the production of apparel for international premium brands.

Earlier this year, Haelixa partnered with Soorty to help the Pakistani denim manufacturer support claims related to the use of recycled cotton in its denim products.

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