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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

Read the news release on Ecotextile News >

Blockchain and Fast Fashion [Novethic]

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French blog Novethic quotes Sourcemap CEO in the article “POURQUOI LA BLOCKCHAIN NE RÉVOLUTIONNERA PAS LA FAST FASHION” (Why Blockchain Won't Revolutionize Fast Fashion)

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/

 

HOW BLOCKCHAIN COULD CHANGE THE ETHICAL FASHION GAME

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"Fashion supply chains are way too complicated to be traced using any person-to-person traditional communication," says SourceMap founder Leonardo Bonanni over the phone. "You need some really advanced technology to actually track fashion, especially in a world of fast fashion and global brands."

https://fashionista.com/2018/04/what-is-blockchain-explained-ethical-fashion-supply-chain

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.