Apparel

Texworld USA Transparency and Traceability Panel - What we learned.

Panelists from left to right: Maggie Kervick (GCNYC Director of Strategy & Integrated Partnerships), Juliette Barre (Director of Business Development and Marketing, Sourcemap), Leslie Ferrick (Senior Manager of Fabric R&D/Sourcing Dept., Athleta), Karen Newman (United Nations Consultant), and Louise Claughton (Senior Director, PVH Corp.)

Panelists from left to right: Maggie Kervick (GCNYC Director of Strategy & Integrated Partnerships), Juliette Barre (Director of Business Development and Marketing, Sourcemap), Leslie Ferrick (Senior Manager of Fabric R&D/Sourcing Dept., Athleta), Karen Newman (United Nations Consultant), and Louise Claughton (Senior Director, PVH Corp.)

Customers and investors are looking for answers: they want brands to provide data about where products come from, how they are made, and other key sustainability facts. It sounds simple, but supply chains can be complex in the age of international trade and a single item can be made of materials from hundreds of suppliers. 

This week Sourcemap was at Texworld USA to meet and discuss with textile brands and manufacturers. Our Director of Business Development and Marketing, Juliette Barre participated in the panel: Transparency and Traceability, Challenges Facing Major Brands. Juliette joined moderator Maggie Kervick (GCNYC Director of Strategy & Integrated Partnerships) with panelists Karen Newman (United Nations Consultant), Leslie Ferrick (Senior Manager of Fabric R&D/Sourcing Dept., Athleta), and Louise Claughton (Senior Director, PVH Corp.).

Some key takeaways from the panel: 

  • Understanding your supply chain from end-to-end benefits a brand’s bottom line:

    • Companies can better anticipate and adapt to disruptions when they know who is in their supply chain

    • Marketing departments can use transparency to back up commitments and avoid greenwashing

    • Suppliers are partners; understanding where they are and opening dialogue around transparency strengthens business relationships

    • Investor increasingly care about the supply chains of their portfolio companies - after all, it’s their supply chain too

  • There’s no need to reinvent the wheel: use open-source resources to gather information on what other industry peers or goal-oriented groups are doing to tackle a specific objective. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals act as a framework, detailing what issues and targets can be achieved in specific areas.

  • If your brand isn’t doing anything about transparency, get started:

    • Don’t be afraid to communicate the good things your company is doing - if you don’t share, you won’t get the credit

    • Be transparent about where you need to improve. No one expects companies to be perfect. Acknowledging gaps and communicating on your action plan will help avoid backlash from third-party organizations. 

The discussion highlighted many ways in which sustainability and traceability can drive operating efficiency. By exploring the supply chain and problems/opportunities within, business functions can be more efficiently used to tackle important issues. But all of the panelists agreed that the journey to sustainability is not linear or clear-cut, it is full of trial, error, reflection, and action. 

Sourcemap Partners with Patrick Duffy and Global Fashion Exchange to Bring Supply Chain Transparency to Brands and Consumers

Patrick Duffy, Leonardo Bonanni CEO of Sourcemap and Lan Vy Nguyen Founder & Managing Director of Fashion4Freedom discussing supply chain, sustainability and empowerment at Nasdaq

Patrick Duffy, Leonardo Bonanni CEO of Sourcemap and Lan Vy Nguyen Founder & Managing Director of Fashion4Freedom discussing supply chain, sustainability and empowerment at Nasdaq

NEW YORK, July 9, 2019 -- Sourcemap is thrilled to announce its new strategic partnership with Patrick Duffy and Global Fashion Exchange (GFX). Sourcemap is the leading developer of software for supply chain transparency and traceability. Global Fashion Exchange is a pioneering media consultancy focused on sustainability, design, and supply chains for the fashion, jewelry and cosmetics industries.

Sourcemap's groundbreaking software solutions are transforming the way that brands such as Vans, Timberland, and The North Face communicate about their global impact through radical supply chain transparency. GFX's global network and outreach will expand Sourcemap's relationships with the luxury industry's most influential brands and experts. GFX will also provide content creation services for Sourcemap’s clients to engage consumers with compelling storytelling content. By joining forces, Sourcemap and GFX will provide a true end-to-end solution for brands seeking to make their supply chains transparent and gain the trust of consumers.

Patrick Duffy: “Sourcemap is a truly remarkable way for brands and companies to make a positive impact. By making the supply chain a visual experience it allows people to connect to what’s happening on a deeper and more granular level, allowing them to really pinpoint areas for improvement and to help them make clear steps for transformation into a healthy supply chain.” 

Juliette Barre, Sourcemap Director of Business Development: “Sustainability in fashion is a huge challenge, in part because of the complexity of these supply chains and in part because the story is so hard to get right. As pioneer in branding and engagement around sustainable fashion Patrick brings an enormous competitive advantage to Sourcemap’s customers as they differentiate themselves in the space.

About Patrick Duffy: Patrick founded the Global Fashion Exchange (GFX) in 2013 with the mission to challenge the fashion industry to create a more sustainable world through inspiring forums, educational content and cultural events, including fashion swaps and consulting. As an expert in developing networks and activating ideas, Patrick guides creative teams for GFX in 30+ countries where GFX has taken place at institutions like V&A in London, Federation Square Melbourne, Madison Square Garden in NYC and more. Patrick’s experience producing events and creating marketing campaigns for some of the world’s most recognized brands across the art and fashion space include HM, Moët Hennessy, Microsoft and spans 15 years, hundreds of events in 5 continents. In addition to his work with GFX, Patrick also manages global partnerships for Common Objective (CO), an intelligent business network for the fashion industry, has launched “Mr Duffy” a 100% circular and sustainably focused clothing collection with partner Fashion 4 Freedom in Vietnam and is a partner at Design Pavilion, NYC’s Largest public interfacing event with over 7 million visitors in partnership with Times Square and NYEDC during NYCx Design week each May.

About Sourcemap: Sourcemap was launched in 2008 at MIT as a supply chain management platform rooted in transparency. Since 2011 the New York City-based startup has been developing software and services needed to take companies on the journey to radical transparency. Today Sourcemap software runs the most powerful platforms for transparency and traceability on the market, including Open Sourcemap, the world’s largest public repository of supply chains, and Sourcemap Enterprise: a suite of software for companies to manage their transparency trajectory in-house. Sourcemap Enterprise was the first platform designed to manage multi-tier supply chains, including advanced database technology that traces individual products from raw materials to end customers, and award-winning visualizations to make sense of it all.



Investing in a Sustainable Supply Chain Now Could Save Brands’ Future [Footwear News]

screenshot2018-03-10at7.27.21pm.png

The shopping habits of millennials and Gen Z have changed the way brands sell their products; experiences, e-commerce pop-ups and personalization are dominating retail. But these consumers also value sustainability and ethical business practices, which many brands have been slower to address at the risk of lowering margins.

Read the rest on Footwear News

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

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 10.49.36 PM.png

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 >

Sourcemap Receives Green Carpet Fashion Award at Milan Fashion Week

Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 6.19.05 PM.png

Sourcemap was awarded the Supply Chain Innovation prize at this year's Green Carpet Fashion Award, a “a star-studded celebration of the sustainability, innovation and the contribution of the Italian fashion industry.”

Read more about it on the Eco-Age website and see it in Vogue

Blockchain and Fast Fashion [Novethic]

ouvriere-indienne-walmart-the-Solidarity-Center-under-CC-2-0.jpg

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)

HOW BLOCKCHAIN COULD CHANGE THE ETHICAL FASHION GAME

34775509381_ef838564e4_z.jpg

"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

Sourcemap travels to Dhaka to launch massive digital mapping of Bangladeshi garment factories

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 1.02.10 PM.png

The Sourcemap team travelled to Dhaka, Bangladesh last month to kick off the door-to-door census of every garment factory in the country: a Digital Ready-Made Factory Map of Bangladesh. Local data collectors equipped with mobile apps have begun to amass thousands of GPS-linked data points collected on the ground from factory owners, workers and organizations. As this data is fed into Sourcemap’s supply chain mapping and transparency platform, we will be able to provide global apparel brands and consumers with radical transparency in one of world’s largest garment producing regions.

The timing of the project is critical. April 24 will mark five years since the factory collapse at Rana Plaza outside Dhaka that took the lives of 1,135 people. North American and European apparel brands have already announced their intention to walk away from the safety tracking programs formed in response to the tragedy once they expire in May.  

Sourcemap is partnering with C&A Foundation and BRAC University (BRAC U) in Bangladesh to administer the survey. Together, we will create a new digital factory map that will democratize data collection and transparency by permanently transitioning accountability for factory improvements to Bangladeshis.  

Picture1.png

“A big part of our commitment to have Bangladeshis own and control this data comes down to designing the right interface,” said Rhea Rakshit, Director of Design for Sourcemap. “The goal is to make it as simple as possible to collect data from factories on the ground, and then allow apparel brands and other stakeholders to gain access to it through an easy to use mapping platform.”

While on the ground in Dhaka, our team witnessed just how critical the garment industry was to Bangladesh. The industry employs approximately four million people. Alarmingly though, most workers report to factories that are invisible on the supply chain – even to the multinational brands ultimately purchasing their products.

The BRAC U survey will put each of these factories on the map. In addition to factory and worker statistics, types of products manufactured, the names of clothing brands that each factory manufactures for will also be captured. All data will be uploaded on Sourcemap cloud servers and visible to the public. Ultimately, this transparency will increase the accountability of brands, decrease risk to workers, and add value to Bangladeshi products.

Dr. Leonardo Bonanni, CEO of Sourcemap, remarked on the project, “The crowdsourced garment factory map promises to make the ‘Made in Bangladesh’ label an asset to apparel brands and a point of consumer pride worldwide.”

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.

Mapping the Fashion World [Woolmark]

If there is one takeaway lesson from the successive moments of crisis into which the fashion industry has plunged in recent years, it is that participants in the apparel sector can no longer, in good conscience, increase their frequency of production and output without ensuring that they are doing so responsibly. Dr Leonardo Bonanni set out to bring clarity to supply chains, and the unique inventions that resulted have proved that transparency, sustainability and traceability can be fashionable. And his clients, who include Eileen Fischer and Vivienne Westwood, couldn't agree more.

Read the rest of the article here

See How Vivienne Westwood, Karen Walker, Mimco and sass & bide support artisans in East AFrica: introducing Ethical Fashion Initiative + Sourcemap

We're proud to have been selected by the Ethical Fashion Initiative (Motto: Not Charity - Just Work) as the software for RISEmap: an online traceability platform highlighting the brands who support artisans in Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia through their supply chains. Accessible through QR codes on product hangtags and the EFI website itself, RISEmap highlights stories of unique crafts that sustain communities and supply unique products to globally recognized brands. Find out more by visiting the RISEmaps below:

Visit the RISE reports page to learn more about the work of the Ethical Fashion Initiative

How Plastic Bottles From Haiti End Up In Your Boots: Timberland X Thread on Open Sourcemap

Thread International weaves fabric from plastic bottles collected in Haiti and Honduras - providing income opportunities to nearly four thousand people and diverting two hundred tons of plastic from waste streams. This Spring Timberland is launching two footwear products built using Thread post-consumer recycled fabric. Follow the entire story from bottle collection to Timberland's supplier factories in Asia in the mesmerizing map below or visit open.sourcemap.com to create one like this for your brand.