Product and supply chain traceability expert, Oritain, has now mapped all Supima cotton growing regions in a bid to tackle fraud in the global cotton supply chain.

The premium Supima cotton is only grown in the US, specifically in the west and southwestern states of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas.

With over 500 licensees in more than 45 countries, Supima partners with over 200 brand/retailers around the globe that use Supima cotton, all of whom now have the capability to independently verify the authenticity of their product. 

Using Oritain’s forensic technology, Supima licensees can now test and authenticate the origin of their Supima products at any stage in the supply chain, revealing if it has been blended or substituted and ensuring the product’s provenance.

By testing the intrinsic natural properties of the cotton, Oritain identifies a unique distinguishing fingerprint for each product verifying where it was grown. Unlike other traceability methods such as paper ledger systems, blockchain, RFID, barcodes, sprays, additives, or labels, this fingerprint cannot be forged or altered and is unique to the land the cotton was grown on.

Luxury goods group Kering has already implemented Oritain’s services to verify that Supima cotton used in its garments is Supima cotton, woven and dyed by Albini. The partnership has produced the world’s first 100% traceable organic Supima cotton by testing the cotton at every stage of production, from field to the retail floor.

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“Consumers are increasingly looking for guarantees of where their clothes are produced and that they are ethically made,” explains Rupert Hodges, executive director, Oritain. “Oritain’s partnership with Supima will allow brands to confidently reassure customers that their Supima product is made with 100% Supima cotton.

“Products can cross multiple borders and pass through several sets of hands before reaching the stores, making it increasingly difficult for companies to trace the journey of their products. By mapping Supima’s growing regions and helping licenses to verify the origin of products, the cotton industry is making an important step towards rooting out fraud in the global supply chain.”

Marc Lewkowitz, president and CEO of Supima, adds: “The demand for authenticity by brands/retailers and consumers is a growing subject across the entire supply chain. The ability to talk about sustainability, environmental and social responsibility are not effectively possible unless you can authenticate the actual origin of the physical product. Today’s discerning consumers are looking for real value which arises from authenticity and quality and not the cheapest price. It is the quality of the materials used in a product, the quality of the workmanship, the responsible sourcing practices employed throughout the supply chain that all add up to something greater than just all the components individually.

“Oritain has opened the door for Supima and our partners for true and verifiable authentication. Transparency through the supply chain is entirely possible through an active audit program to ensure that products that are identified as Supima are made with US grown Supima cotton. This development represents a monumental milestone for the textile industry and represents the first steps in mitigating non-compliant or fraudulent products by authenticating the origin of the physical product.”

Click on the following link to read more: Under the microscope – How forensic science provides proof of provenance