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traceability & transparency
Need help finding a supplier or getting connected directly at the farm level? Contact Simply Suzette here.

This is a good place to stop and talk about these two hot topics that many often find confusing. 


Many companies have a limited view of the network of business partners within their supply chain and do not get the full story behind their products. Getting this information and being able to know all the steps that a garment has gone through is called Traceability. 


Most know their immediate suppliers, which are the factories that do the cutting, sewing and final quality control, but information about their suppliers, subcontractors, or component suppliers is easily lost. Therefore, all of the farmers, fabric mills, accessory suppliers, miners of the metals, oil refineries that produce plastic-based materials, etc., are lost too. Basically, all that will be explained from now is out of reach for most brands, and without this knowledge, it is extremely difficult for them to make a real impact through their environmental and social policies.


Traceability is the concept of looking at the supply chain and being able to accurately map all suppliers from the raw material extraction stage to its end use. It requires the collaboration of all industry partners, the deployment of common approaches and reliable technical solutions that are fit for different environments. The practice of subcontracting, which we have analyzed in depth with Kim Wan Der Weerd, certainly plays a key role in traceability. Read more about it here!


Transparency means explaining clearly to consumers what impact the production of their garments have, which can range from disclosing production locations, CO2 values, certifications, progress towards targets, issues with accidents and human rights, etc. This allows consumers to make informed purchasing decisions, and help research entities and NGOs establish where the industry is at.

Both transparency and traceability are now a priority for the garment industry to manage supply chains more effectively, however transparency and traceability individually are not enough. Even with transparency and traceability initiatives in place, there are many manufacturers that rely on subcontracting to help them fulfil orders due to lack of technical machinery / specialised machinery or overcapacity. You can learn more about subcontracting here. This information must be used to generate real change.

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