Kering develops ‘digital fingerprinting’ of cotton fabrics

Italian textile producer Albini, the US Pima cotton growers association Supima and New Zealand origin verification expert Oritain are working on a project for luxury group Kering to make cotton fabrics fully traceable, from the field where the raw material is grown to the shops where the end products are sold.



Through this innovative project to promote sustainable fashion, the cotton grown and picked by members of the Supima association in the USA, and then dyed and woven by Albini, will be fully traceable thanks to a vertically integrated supply chain and state-of-the-art scientific methods.
 
Cotton samples are picked from the fields and analysed using forensic science methods, to verify their chemical properties. Oritain then uses statistical models to transform this information into a unique digital fingerprint for that particular fibre, whose journey can be monitored across the entire supply chain, making sure that it has not been substituted, contaminated or tampered with.
 
Using this procedure, it will be possible to trace the fabric's origin to the field where the cotton it is made of has been cultivated, a hitherto unprecedented level of traceability.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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