To create a climate neutral and socially responsible fashion industry, understanding the environmental and social footprint of clothing is crucial.
This is why several Dutch clothing companies including Groenendijk Bedrijfskleding, EK Fashion (formerly Euretco), Tricorp and Heigo work together with transparency platform tex.tracer and LCA party bAwear to collect primary product data directly from chain partners. They use this to work on reliable and efficient Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs).
Why are they doing this and what does it mean?
Upcoming laws and regulations such as the CSRD require companies to communicate non-financial data. Product data and verification therefore become a must-have to future-proof a company. The parties work with tex.tracer to be able to act based on reliable supply chain data. Jolanda Kooi of tex.tracer explains: ‘The collected data is immutable through the use of blockchain and is provided with time and geolocation stamps. In addition, peer-to-peer reviews confirm the uploaded information from the previous step.’ Jaap Groeneweg of Groenendijk Bedrijfskleding adds: This way, we prevent greenwashing whilst reducing the workload of our CSR team. The data makes it possible to give a more targeted interpretation to social responsibility by taking measures in dialogue with suppliers to reduce the product footprint.”
Primary versus secondary data
Many LCAs are based on secondary data: averages from external sources. These analysis are therefore only indicative. In order to map out the actual product footprint and thus hot spots for footprint reduction, this collaboration realises that an LCA is based on primary data, because the data comes directly from the source – from cotton farmer to clothing factory. Anton Luiken of bAwear confirms: “The collaboration with tex.tracer enables us to receive reliable data and thus perform a realistic analysis for the collaborating parties. “Simplification is the key word here, because the cooperation of suppliers is realised in this way.
The cooperating companies have an intrinsic motivation to contribute to making the industry more sustainable. Mariska Schennink of EK Fashion confirms ‘The industry is becoming more sustainable step by step. That is why we are happy to share the honest story, so that consumers can make a choice based on reliable data.’ This way, we are gradually creating a more sustainable reality.
Many users of tex.tracer, including Babyface and MUD Jeans, share the product journey with consumers. In 2023, they will also share footprint data with consumers via on-product QR code and on their webshops.
This tool contributes to the Paris Agreement and helps the cooperating parties to be a Net Zero organization in 2050.