High-profile scandals have exposed how vulnerable the cotton supply chain is to fraud. Premium cotton can be blended or substituted with cheaper, inferior alternatives without the manufacturer’s knowledge. Supima has addressed this problem head-on by partnering with Oritain to protect the integrity of their high-quality, extra-long staple cotton. Without verifying the origin of the fibre, claims about authenticity and sustainability cannot be made. Brands can use Supima cotton and ensure that they are using an authentic and verifiable cotton in their garments.
Using Oritain’s forensic technology, Supima licensees can 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. Without the ability to authenticate the underlying physical product throughout the supply chain no product claims can be effectively made. Oritain enables brands and retailers to speak knowingly and knowledgeably about the authenticity of their product.
Global luxury group, Kering has 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.
Rupert Hodges, Executive Director, Oritain said: “Consumers are increasingly looking for guarantees of where their clothes are produced and that they are ethically made. 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 C.E.O., Supima said: “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 U.S. 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.”