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March 22, 2022

Open Apparel Registry drives standardised supply chain disclosure

The Open Apparel Registry has launched a new development to expand standardised supply chain disclosure in the apparel sector in a move that means brands are now able to fulfil Transparency Pledge requirements through the platform.

By Beth Wright

The Open Apparel Registry (OAR) is a free, open data tool mapping garment facilities worldwide and allocating a unique ID to each. Data in the Open Apparel Registry is contributed and used by organisations all over the world, including major global brands, civil society organisations, multi-stakeholder initiatives, certification schemes, and factory groups.

Its latest move, which it says is its biggest to date since launch, means all users now have the option to contribute and search by a new set of facility data points in the tool. These data points are:

● Number of workers
● Parent company
● Type of product
● Type of facility
● Type of processing

The development enables brands to meet the disclosure requirements of both the Transparency Pledge and the Fair Labor Association through the Open Apparel Registry, as well as ensuring these disclosures are open and standardised, facilitating more efficient and effective collaboration.

In turn, building on the existing search capabilities of the platform, the development enables users to filter data searches specifically to their needs or area of interest, such as searching only for dye houses, or facilities with high numbers of workers.

“The OAR’s aim is to open up supply chain data for the benefit of all. The power of the OAR’s approach lies in transforming messy, inconsistent data into structured datasets, made freely available to all stakeholders under an open data license. In launching this development, we are driving further consensus within the apparel sector around key data points, leading to the increased data standardisation the sector so desperately needs,” says OAR executive director Natalie Grillon.

C&A, Columbia Sportswear Company, Ralph Lauren Corporation, ZDHC Foundation, and Ted Baker Plc are the companies contributing some or all of the additional data points for the launch.

Frank Michel, executive director of the ZDHC Foundation, adds: “At ZDHC, we’re working together with our community to eliminate hazardous chemicals from apparel and footwear supply chains, so visibility into facility and processing types is fundamental to the work that we do. Being able to programmatically exchange this data with the OAR via our API connection creates enormous efficiency benefits to both organisations and, by sharing the data openly, provides the opportunity for users across the sector to come together to work on environmental improvements that benefit everyone.”

Market platform TrusTrace recently announced a new traceability ecosystem in collaboration with the Open Apparel Registry that is designed to accelerate sustainability within the apparel industry.

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