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TrusTrace, a company specialising in product traceability and compliance, has unveiled the second edition of its industry playbook, titled ‘The Traceability Roadmap’ in collaboration with sustainable fashion organisation, Fashion for Good.

The Traceability Roadmap delves into the journey of implementing traceability, including defining organisational needs, navigating legislative requirements, ensuring alignment and readiness, selecting the right solution, successful implementation, and standardisation and scalability of traceability across the industry. While primarily focused on the fashion industry, this guide can be a valuable reference for other sectors grappling with similar supply chain challenges and legislation.

The Traceability Roadmap incorporates interviews and insights from renowned brands such as Tapestry and ASICS, highlighting their experiences in implementing traceability to foster sustainable transformation. Additionally, experts from Kharon and Policy Hub provide valuable insights into how future regulatory landscapes shape the need for traceability.

Matthew Xu, ASICS CSR and sustainability lead shares his insights from the Asics traceability programme, which is treated as a company-wide transformation project to move from a linear to a circular business model. He added: “Traceability plays a vital role in achieving transparency – not only to share our story but also to exchange best practices and foster collaboration in addressing challenges.”

The playbook also emphasises the importance of industry standardisation and collaboration, featuring expert commentary from GS1 and the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN).

“In just a few short years, supply chain traceability has become recognised as the central tenet of sustainable transformation. Brands that want to communicate product information with consumers, adhere to certification criteria, abide by current and incoming regulations, and avoid greenwashing can only do so by tracing their complex network of suppliers and manufacturers. Yet despite its importance, there is still a lack of understanding on implementation,” said TrusTrace CEO and co-founder Shameek Ghosh. “Our first Traceability Playbook focused on why traceability is needed. Now, our new Traceability Roadmap provides the industry with a detailed guide on how it can be achieved, with learnings from global leaders in traceability.”

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TrusTrace’s initial industry playbook, released in June 2022, quickly gained traction with thousands of downloads. It outlined the business case for traceability implementation, covering broader considerations for brands such as upcoming regulations, material innovation, and the circular economy.

Kathleen Rademan, director of Fashion for Good’s Innovation Platform, expressed her thoughts on the Traceability Roadmap and said: “The TrusTrace Traceability Roadmap serves as a guide for brands, suppliers, and ecosystem players to understand, and implement traceability effectively. “It helps companies choose useful digital and physical tracing solutions to meet their business, policy, and ESG needs.”

The chapters within the Traceability Roadmap are designed to facilitate learning and feature expected outcomes, theoretical concepts, success secrets, case studies, expert interviews, and toolkits containing downloadable templates and worksheets that brands can utilize to get started.

Kit Conklin, vice president at Kharon, highlighted an additional benefit of the playbook by offering unparalleled insights into a precedent-setting law that has put various industries on edge: the Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act (UFLPA), he said: “Since its institution in June 2022, the UFLPA has accelerated the adoption of traceability solutions for compliance. It is crucial for brands across industries to understand the impact of this game-changing law and what is required to comply. The Traceability Roadmap provides in-depth insights into why and how brands can prepare for it.”

Sherry Fazal, senior manager of global ESG & sustainability solutions said: “The long-term vision is to achieve traceability and transparency throughout the entire product life cycle. The journey will not be linear, and that is crucial. We learn, adapt, and pivot. Our work in ESG is not an add-on; it is a fundamental part of our business that enhances resilience and forward-thinking. ESG is ingrained in our company’s DNA.”

Ghosh believes that the new Traceability Roadmap will continue to support and guide brands throughout their journey of initiating and implementing traceability programs, regardless of the solution they choose and said: “From the C-Suite to sustainability, legal, production, and sourcing teams, everyone faces unprecedented challenges and demands to improve their supply chains. Our aim is to help them succeed, expedite their progress, and foster collaboration across the industry.”

Earlier this year, the TrusTrace platform announced it would be supporting Renfro Brands in standardising its supply chain mapping and maintaining material tracing data.