Press

World’s first free digital map of apparel factories now online


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NEW YORK CITY – Sourcemap gave the apparel industry, manufacturers, and consumers worldwide unprecedented access to the factories making their clothes with today’s launch of the Open Apparel Registry (OAR) — an open, crowdsourced database of apparel facilities around the world.

The online tool creates a common and standardized resource of facility names and addresses that is completely free and easy to search. As the first advanced name-and-address matching system for the apparel industry, the OAR will create historic transparency and accountability in an industry plagued by systemic sustainability challenges and inhumane employment practices.

“The Open Apparel Registry has been a years-long effort to help consumers, companies and NGO's make certain that the factories they think their clothes are coming from are actually the right ones,” said Dr. Leo Bonanni, founder and CEO of Sourcemap. “Apparel facilities can now be searched much like finding an address on Google Maps, which we expect will create an industry where one-day, every article of clothing is traced to its source.”

Currently, most apparel factories are logged across multiple, inconsistent databases. Many more facilities are completely unaccounted for. Even the most conscientious brands have struggled to maintain visibility over the manufacturers beyond the first tier of their supply chains. The lack of accountability has led to the apparel industry’s failed attempts to rid supply chains of forced labor, child labor, poor working conditions, and environmentally harmful practices. 

The OAR is funded by the C&A Foundation. It marks Sourcemap’s largest open-source project to date. Nonprofit partnerships and corporate alliances have attempted to conduct similar large-scale mapping projects without success.

Sourcemap is recognized as the leader in mapping and transparency platforms for industry groups. C&A Foundation is also sponsoring Sourcemap’s partnership with BRAC University (BRACU) on a breakthrough project to survey and map every garment factory in Bangladesh. Sourcemap currently powers the latest generation of the Higg Index platform, the leading suite of tools for measuring social and environmental sustainability across the apparel, footwear and textile industries. The Green Electronic Council’s newly reimagined EPEAT Registry for sustainable IT products also runs on Sourcemap’s platform.

The OAR is now live at openapparel.org.

Cocoa in the cloud: Traceability goes paperless in digital evolution [Confectionery News]

Cocoa traceability is entering the digital era with companies aiming to collect far more than the weight of a bag via a paper receipt.

HTTPS://WWW.CONFECTIONERYNEWS.COM/ARTICLE/2018/05/15/COCOA-IN-THE-CLOUD-TRACEABILITY-GOES-PAPERLESS-IN-DIGITAL-EVOLUTION

Sourcemap CEO, “Manufacturers have no excuses for lack of transparency in cobalt mining.”

Cobalt prices have quadrupled since hitting an all-time low just two years ago. The material’s use in the rechargeable batteries of electric cars and smartphones triggered a spike in the market and demand isn’t expected to slow.

Unfortunately, most corporations lack visibility of their cobalt supply chain beyond the smelters that purchase the ore from mines, or intermediaries. According to Amnesty International, the lack of accountability has led to insidious mining conditions, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which produces 60 percent of the world’s cobalt. Nearly 150,000 people work in “artisanal” mines plagued with collapsing shafts and harsh work environments. An estimated 40,000 child laborers are cheated out of pay, vulnerable to harm, and often handle the toxic material without gloves or masks.

In this piece published in Eco-Business, Sourcemap CEO Dr. Leo Bonanni argues that there is no excuse for companies not maintaining 100% traceability in their cobalt supply chains. The type of end-to-end traceability software that Sourcemap has used to map some of the world’s most complex supply chains can help rid high-risk and inhumane activities from cobalt sourcing.

Article: http://www.eco-business.com/opinion/no-excuses-for-lack-of-transparency-in-cobalt-mining/

 

This Tech Startup Could Revolutionize The Fashion Industry With Its Latest Project [Forbes]

Sourcemap, a New York City tech start-up is building a platform, that could transform the fashion industry: a digital map of all clothing manufacturers in Bangladesh.

Read the full article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/eshachhabra/2018/03/30/this-tech-startup-could-revolutionize-the-fashion-industry-with-its-latest-project/#356582bf72f2

What it's really going to take for sustainability to work [Sourcing Journal]

by Tara Donaldson

Posted on January 23, 2018 in Feature.

The thing about sustainability in the apparel industry is that brands and retailers are either embracing it of their own accord, finding themselves backed into a corner with little other option, or faking it until they make it.

The latter, of course, is where the problem of compliance arises.

“I’m kind of pessimistic when it comes to sustainability, compliance, traceability,” Sourcing Journal president Edward Hertzman said speaking on a Texworld USA supply chain panel Monday.

Having spent years in sourcing prior to publishing, Hertzman said he’s had brands ask him to manufacture organic product for them, and he’s gone to factories to source it, only to find that the suppliers are selling the brands goods labeled as organic when they’re in fact no such thing.

“It’s very complex to trace this. There isn’t necessarily one set of standards that everyone follows,” Hertzman said. “I think we are a long way from this being part of every single company’s culture.”

The problem, according to Dr. Leonardo Bonanni, founder and CEO of Sourcemap, a supply chain-mapping software company, is that the apparel industry has faced structural issues that haven’t exactly served to fuel transparency and traceability.

Until recently, Bonanni said, “You actually couldn’t map a supply chain for an apparel product,” largely because brands themselves couldn’t see past their Tier 1 suppliers—a problem which still remains for some companies.

Read the rest of the article at Sourcing Journal.

SOURCEMAP, XEROX WIN THE 2017 GEC CATALYST AWARDS

For too long companies have wanted to know more about their supply chains, only to be discouraged by the time and the resources needed to go it alone. That’s why we’re introducing a new kind of social network for brands and manufacturers within an industry to map their shared supply chains and collect data every step of the way – data essential to establishing benchmarks for social and environmental impact. We’re thrilled that the Green Electronics Council selected our Supply Chain Communities for this year’s Catalyzing Disruptive Innovation award at CES Asia, and look forward to working with the industry to advance visibility and sustainability throughout the global electronics supply chain.

From the Green Electronics Council's press release:

SHANGHAI, CHINA – June 8, 2017 – The Green Electronics Council (GEC) announced at CES Asia today that Xerox Corporation, a global document solutions, technologies and services corporation, and Sourcemap, Inc., the supply chain transparency company, won its 2017 GEC Catalyst Awards. GEC’s annual Catalyst Awards seek to inspire innovation in the design, manufacture and use of electronics to advance global sustainability.
GEC’s Catalyst Awards honor sustainability achievements in two categories. The “Catalyzing Impact at Scale” award recognizes the large-scale impact leading corporations can have when changing the design, manufacture and intended use of their products. GEC’s “Catalyzing Disruptive Innovation” award recognizes cutting-edge technologies that raise sustainability to a whole new level.
Xerox won the Catalyzing Impact at Scale Award for a global reverse supply-chain initiative that methodically analyzes ROI for remanufacture, refurbish, parts reuse, recycle, and broker sales. Sourcemap won the Catalyzing Disruptive Innovation Award for its supply-chain transparency community that ensures the sustainability of supply chains down to the raw material.
“The negative environmental and social impacts resulting from complex global supply chains are among the greatest challenges currently facing the IT industry,” said Nancy Gillis, CEO of the Green Electronics Council. “We congratulate this year’s Winners, Honorees, and Finalists for demonstrating ways to address this challenge and exhibiting sustainable supply chain leadership and innovation.”
An independent, expert Judging Committee selected the top Catalyst Award Winners and, for the first time, recognized three special Honorees. LG Electronics and Cisco Systems were each named “Catalyzing Impact at Scale” Honorees. A collaboration between Vodafone and Good World Solutions was selected as a “Catalyzing Disruptive Innovation” Honoree.
Xerox has long been recognized as an industry leader in end-of-life management, and over the past few years Xerox has optimized the global reverse logistics system to further enable a sustainable supply chain. The optimization utilizes a centralized control system, which calculates the value associated with sending a product through one of five potential processes, then selects the process that will create the greatest value. Through this optimized system and process improvements, Xerox has realized millions of dollars in cost benefit, achieved significant greenhouse gas savings and enabled numerous social sustainability benefits.
Sourcemap’s Supply Chain Transparency Community is a powerful new approach to providing industry-wide assurance of sustainability and compliance across the extended supply chain. It works through a shared repository of pre-competitive information on suppliers’ social and environmental performance fed by real-time data from a supplier social network, independently verified by machine learning algorithms and independent auditors. For the first time brands can achieve continuous supply chain assurance at low cost, while suppliers benefit from visibility and actionable benchmarks to help achieve best-in-class performance.
The five Finalists for the 2017 GEC Catalyst Awards were the Chinese Environmental United Certification CenterKaiser PermanentePacific Gas and Electric Companytoxnot PBC, and Umicore.
The Judging Committee for the 2017 Catalyst Awards included Walter Alcorn, Vice President, Environmental Affairs and Industry Sustainability at the Consumer Technology Association; Michael Massetti, Executive Partner, Supply Chain at Gartner; Karen Pollard, Environmental Protection Specialist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Steve Rochlin, Americas Co-Manager at the Global E-Sustainability Initiative; Joel Sutherland, President of Envoy Inc.; and Matthew Swibel, Director, Corporate Sustainability at Lockheed Martin Corporation.
GEC announced the winners at CES Asia in Shanghai, China as an official program partner of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). Past GEC Catalyst Awards winners include PuzzlePhone, AMD, and Dell, Inc.
The 2018 Catalyst Awards theme will be announced later this year.

Want to learn more about Sourcemap's Industry Communities? Get in touch