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May 20, 2019

Lenzing to trace fibres with blockchain technology

By Beth Wright

Austrian cellulosic fibre producer Lenzing Group has announced it will use blockchain technology to support its Tencel branded fibre business in a move it says will ensure complete transparency and traceability throughout the supply chain to the finished garment.

The firm has partnered with Hong Kong-based technology company TextileGenesis to create an “unmatched” level of transparency for brands and consumers.

Described as an “a pioneering traceability platform custom built for the apparel ecosystem”, TextileGenesis says it is custom-built for premium and sustainable textiles such as wood-based fibres, premium cotton, specialty filaments, silk, wool and cashmere.

Its technology combines blockchain with GS1 traceability standard – a global traceability standard used in the food and healthcare sector – for the apparel industry. Its platform, it says, allows digitisation and traceability of any textile asset such as fibre, yarn, fabric, or garment through patent pending “fibercoins”. 

The supply chain transparency from wood to garment and home textiles will enable all customers and partners to identify Tencel fibers and the respective wood source in each production and distribution step, Lenzing said in a statement. Thanks to a QR code on the final garment, consumers will be able to detect the origin of the clothes they intend to buy.

“With Lenzing Ecovero branded fibres Lenzing was the frontrunner in physical traceability and is now entering the age of digital traceability. This milestone in transparency is a further strong commitment to sustainability”, says Lenzing Group CEO Stefan Doboczky. “Together with TextileGenesis, we aim to create an unmatched level of transparency for brands and consumers. With this step Lenzing will further help to green up the textile industry.”

The group plans to carry out several pilot tests over the next few months involving partners along the entire value chain. Lenzing expects the platform to be fully operational as of 2020.

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