• Sourcemap is aiming for "radical transparency" in one of world's largest garment producing regions – Bangladesh.
  • It has kicked off a project to digitally map all of Bangladesh's garment factories. 
  • In addition to factory and worker statistics, the types of products manufactured and the names of clothing brands that each factory supplies will also be captured.
The Sourcemap team travelled to Dhaka last month to kick off the door-to-door census of every garment factory in the country

The Sourcemap team travelled to Dhaka last month to kick off the door-to-door census of every garment factory in the country

Digital supply chain mapping platform Sourcemap is aiming to bring a new level of transparency to the clothing industry with the launch of an initiative to digitally map Bangladesh's garment factories.

The Sourcemap team travelled to Dhaka last month to kick off the door-to-door census of every garment factory in the country. Local data collectors equipped with mobile apps have begun to amass thousands of GPS-linked data points collected on the ground from factory owners, workers and organisations.

As this data is fed into Sourcemap's supply chain mapping and transparency platform, the company says it will be able to provide global apparel brands and consumers with "radical transparency" in one of world's largest garment producing regions.

"A big part of our commitment to have Bangladeshis own and control this data comes down to designing the right interface," says Rhea Rakshit, director of design for Sourcemap. "The goal is to make it as simple as possible to collect data from factories on the ground, and then allow apparel brands and other stakeholders to gain access to it through an easy to use mapping platform."

Sourcemap is partnering with C&A Foundation and Brac University (Brac U) in Bangladesh to carry out the survey. Together, they aim to create a new digital factory map that will democratise data collection and transparency by permanently transitioning accountability for factory improvements to Bangladeshis.

The project comes just weeks before the fifth anniversary on 24 April of the Rana Plaza disaster, which claimed the lives of over 1,130 workers.

In addition to factory and worker statistics, the types of products manufactured and the names of clothing brands that each factory manufactures for will also be captured. All data will be uploaded on Sourcemap cloud servers and visible to the public. Ultimately, Sourcemap is hoping the transparency will increase the accountability of brands, decrease risk to workers, and add value to Bangladeshi products.

Dr Leonardo Bonanni, CEO of Sourcemap, says: "The crowdsourced garment factory map promises to make the 'Made in Bangladesh' label an asset to apparel brands and a point of consumer pride worldwide."