By leveraging the expertise of ADB, IFRS, and GS1, Sri Lanka’s apparel sector aims to improve the traceability of the supply chain and advocates for standardised disclosure benchmarks.

Central to this initiative is the implementation of a single QR code that holds information on the tracking and tracing of the entire supply chain, including:

  • Details about the brand,
  • Supply chain,
  • Product specifications,
  • Materials used,
  • Care instructions,
  • Compliance information,
  • Recycling guidelines.

The ESG traceability also simplifies data exchange, ensuring precise reporting and compliance with jurisdictional requirements.

The apparel industry in Sri Lanka is responding with a resounding ‘Yes’ to the call for complete supply chain traceability with the Global North putting its foot down on sustainability legislation.

It comes from the mounting pressure to align with the legal frameworks of major export destinations including the US, EU and the UK.

The World Economic Forum, at COP28, acknowledged Sri Lanka’s commitment to environmental consciousness and responsible manufacturing practices.

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The initiative is said to represent a historic milestone for the Sri Lankan apparel industry, as it is the ‘first’ instance where competing manufacturers, fabric producers, brands and retailers have united for a shared purpose.

Stakeholders are actively engaged in refining prototypes and strategising for commercialisation. The focus remains on fostering widespread adoption of the QR code system within the supply chain, with an emphasis on facilitating brand adherence and prioritising disclosures outlined by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).

The industry is also exploring new ways to scale the initiative by offering access to “reliable data sources.”

Sri Lanka manufacturer and Superdry supplier Sumithra Group told Just Style on 19 February, it had invited global union IndustriAll to conduct an independent investigation following “factually inaccurate” reports of management allegedly “physically assaulting” garment worker union members.