Marketing and Comms
New Traceability Playbook Aims to Accelerate Sustainable Transformation of Fashion Supply Chains

The open-source playbook from TrusTrace, Fashion Revolution and Fashion for Good offers a one-stop guide for fashion brands wanting to fulfill on the new business imperative for transparency.

TrusTrace, Fashion Revolution and Fashion for Good have collaborated to launch The Traceability Playbook — a comprehensive, open-source guide that offers an in-depth analysis of the evolving market dynamics and incoming legislation making supply chain traceability a business imperative. The Playbook was driven by a collective commitment to accelerating sustainable transformation in the fashion industry, through cross-industry collaboration and knowledge sharing.

“We’re at an inflection point as an industry, where sustainability is evolving from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a ‘must-have’ business imperative; a point at which one’s ‘green line’ is becoming every bit as important as one’s bottom line,” says TrusTrace co-founder and CEO Shameek Ghosh. “However, with this evolution comes the need for knowledge – on how to most effectively manage this sustainable transformation – which is why we’ve teamed up with Fashion Revolution and Fashion for Good to develop this Traceability Playbook. Together, with some of the most knowledgeable, best-informed minds in the industry, we’ve created a resource for the fashion industry that will significantly support sustainable transformation.”

Founded in 2016, TrusTrace has become a market-leading platform for supply chain transparency and traceability at scale within fashion and retail. Built on AI and blockchain, the platform supports brands with risk management, compliance, product claims, footprint calculations and the ability to confidently and easily share data about product origin and impact; it is being used by more than 40 apparel brands — including adidas, Decathlon, Filippa K, Fjällräven, Houdini and Icebug.

The start of 2022 has seen TrusTrace experience a 350 percent YoY increase in brand requests for traceability guidance and support, inspiring the platform to join forces with advocacy organization Fashion Revolution and global innovation platform Fashion for Good, to develop the Traceability Playbook.

The collaborators have worked together to combine knowledge and expertise, developing this go-to manual that will help brands understand the basics of achieving supply chain traceability, from the key players operating within the vast supply chain network, to the digital trends and legislation driving traceability forward.

Written by sustainable fashion journalist Megan Doyle, the Playbook provides both up-to-date insights and concrete examples of good practice — including case studies from companies such as Balenciaga, Gucci, adidas and more; as well as insights from industry leaders including Amina Razvi from the Sustainable Apparel Coalition; Paul Foulkes-Arellano from Circuthon; and Baptiste Carriere-Pradal from Policy Hub.

Ultimately, the guide aims to support brands in understanding the business case for traceability while offering a step-by-step roadmap to achieve it.

“The Rana Plaza tragedy inspired the creation of Fashion Revolution and the #WhoMadeMyClothes campaign, understanding that a lack of transparency costs lives and in order to achieve accountability, greater visibility is needed to drive industry transformation,” says Liv Simpliciano, Policy & Research Manager at Fashion Revolution. “As part of this work, we are pleased to highlight practical case studies of brands’ disclosure on how they are addressing some of the industry’s greatest challenges across overconsumption, overproduction, decent work, circularity and carbon emissions. Transparency is the starting point — not the end in itself. The Traceability Playbook is a resource democratizing access to knowledge from leaders in the industry and importantly, exposes where greater traceability and transparency are needed to catalyze change.”

Katrin Ley, Managing Director at Fashion for Good, adds: “Improved traceability and data integrity are the bedrock of a circular supply chain enabling and incentivizing sustainable enhancements. With the growing importance of an impact-driven supply chain, Fashion for Good is excited to contribute to an open-source playbook for the industry that promotes a collaborative approach of knowledge sharing, implementation and driving the change that is needed to transform the industry for the better."

Available to download from the TrusTrace website, the guide covers key topics such as the business case for traceability and transparency, the need for standardization and decentralization of data and the key traceability trends driving the market. The guide also includes a ‘material school’ chapter, offering guidance on the impact of different materials; the importance of supplier education and technology innovation to drive more sustainable production practices; and the business drivers of traceability — including laws and regulations, communicating product-specific impact data and product-specific claims. To learn more, interested brands can then take the traceability test to identify how to best get started or progress their traceability journey.

The Traceability Playbook is also a key education tool for the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Sustainability Pledge that TrusTrace has submitted today, aimed at accelerating sustainable transformation through supply chain traceability at scale. The pledge commits to three key actions:

  • Educating the fashion industry on how to best leverage technology in the form of supply chain traceability to deliver on SDG and ESG goals

  • Scaling traceability in the industry by expanding the number of brands they support in building a data foundation, to enable the industry to make informed decisions to improve ESG performance.

  • Accelerating positive results through collaboration and integration with other sustainability solution providers.

Maria Teresa Pisani, Economic Affairs Officer and Project Lead at UNECE, comments: “Behind the clothes we wear, there are women and men that need to be respected; and deserts, forests and oceans that need to be protected. Traceability and transparency are key to ensure that human rights and environmental risks are properly identified and addressed along global and complex value chains. It is a starting point to give a face and a voice to vulnerable actors in this industry, and a right move towards responsible choices and circular business models that will drive wrong patterns ‘out of fashion.’ We are delighted to welcome TrusTrace in our UNECE Sustainability Pledge community, as this is another step forward to accelerate transformation at scale, for the sustainable clothing industry of the future.”

The Traceability Playbook will be launched today during a side event of Global Fashion Summit: Copenhagen Edition. Visit TrusTrace.com to download your copy.

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