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Lenzing presents first blockchain pilot project

A large majority of consumers wants brands to disclose their supply chain.

5th September 2019

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Lenzing

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

The blockchain technology enables brands and consumers to identify Tencel branded fibres. © Lenzing

The Lenzing Group has made a huge leap forward in introducing blockchain technology. After joining the platform of the technology company TextileGenesis earlier this year, a market leader in specialty fibres made from the renewable raw material wood presented the first pilot at this year’s Fashion Summit in Hong Kong this week.

This pioneering pilot project was conducted in close cooperation with TextileGenesis, WWF and Hong Kong based brand Chicks.

Blockchain technology

A baseline survey on EU consumer attitudes to sustainability and supply chain transparency in the fashion industry conducted by Ipsos MORI in October 2018 shows that a large majority of consumers (80%) wants brands to disclose their supply chain.

The blockchain technology enables brands and consumers to identify Tencel branded fibres across each production and distribution step from fibre-to-retail of the finished garment or home textiles. The technology also allows consumers to verify the garment composition and the underlying textile supply chain at the point of sale, simply by scanning the barcode with a mobile device.

“Together with TextileGenesis we pursue the ambitious goal to achieve an unparalleled level of transparency for fashion brands and consumers. We will use blockchain technology to maximise the digital traceability of fibres, thus making an important contribution to green up the fashion industry,” explained Stefan Doboczky, CEO of the Lenzing Group. “This strong belief in and commitment to sustainability will support the business with Tencel fibres.”

Industry’s first

Lenzing issued blockchain based Tencel fibrecoins to its supply chain partners in direct relation to physical shipments. These digital tokens serve as an authentication mechanism, against any adulteration, and provides secure digital chain-of-custody across the entire textiles value chain, according to the manufacturer. Recognising that data integrity and ease of use are critical, the supply chain players conducted transactions through the data upload mechanism on the platform. To ensure real-world complexity, a total of 49 distinct garment stockkeeping unit (~25,000 pieces), of Chicks, were tracked on the digital platform from fibres up to retail.

“This is an important milestone for the apparel industry. Our focus is to drive meaningful step-change in an industry where less than 5% of top 250 apparel brands can track their garments back to the fibre origin,” said Amit Gautam, CEO & Founder of TextileGenesis.

Lenzing is carrying out further pilot tests over the next few months involving partners along the entire value chain and expects the platform to be fully operational as of 2020.

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