The collaboration between Haelixa and Soorty will use a DNA marker specifically developed for Soorty which allows tracing from fibre — virgin or recycled — to finished garment.

The unique marker is solved in liquid and then applied to textile waste before mechanical recycling takes place in the spinning mill in Pakistan. Spot checks are done with the intermediate products as well as tests with the final garment to prove that the product contains the recycled cotton. The test is based on highly scalable PCR technology that is said to be 100% reliable and has forensic validity.

Being able to prove its claims is crucial for Soorty as the company has a strong focus on sustainability, and recycling is a major pillar of its sustainability strategy with a current recycling proportion of around 23%. The new waste segregation system is expected to improve the recycling proportion by another 10% annually.

“With the emerging concerns for environment, Soorty as a responsible stakeholder of society has pledged to make its manufacturing process more sustainable, transparent and traceable,” says Mansoor Bilal, vice president, marketing research and innovation, at Soorty.

“Haelixa will help us attain the goal of traceability via DNA marker, which is a novel technology to trace the roots of finished goods. Irrefutably, Haelixa and Soorty’s partnership will prove to be successful in the journey of sustainability.”

Haelixa will also offer Soorty’s clients the use of its label ‘Marked & Traced by Haelixa’ for garments so Soorty customers can inform the end consumer about their supply chain transparency efforts using a solid technological traceability solution. The label can be complemented with a QR code linking to a dedicated landing page, where the brands can bring their product story to life and enable customers to access supply chain and product verification data.

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Michela Puddu, co-founder and CEO of Haelixa, adds: “With recycling becoming a major trend, there is also an alarming number of unsubstantiated claims related to the use of recycled fibre in garments. To differentiate and re-build consumer trust more and more manufacturers and brands use markers to be able to authenticate recycled fibres in the final garment.”

Haelixa was among the six finalists named in the third Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge.

While, Soorty recently joined the Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA), a multi-stakeholder organisation dedicated to organic cotton.