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3p Traceability Week: Q&A with Indigenous on Fashion Traceability

Mary Mazzoni headshotWords by Mary Mazzoni
Leadership & Transparency
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Join Triple Pundit and a panel of experts for 3p Traceability Week to discuss traceability in four controversial arenas — seafood, fashion, minerals and medical marijuana.  Ask your questions in the comments section, and follow along hereThe Q&A closes on Tuesday, September 16. 

The fashion industry has one of the most controversial supply chains out there: Finding a garment that's made from sustainable materials by workers who were paid fair wages can seem next to impossible for concerned consumers.

Since clothing manufacturing is typically contracted out to third-party factory operators, it was once possible for big brands to claim ignorance and hide behind their convoluted supply chains -- but those days are long gone. Ever since the tragic Rana Plaza factory collapse claimed the lives of 1,129 garment workers in 2013, the spotlight has increasingly centered on sustainability within the fashion supply chain -- and a growing number of consumers are asking where their clothes came from.

Behind relatively simple questions -- such as what a garment is made from, who made it and where -- lie even more complicated queries: Is end-to-end traceability even possible? Will brands jump on board? What is already being done to pull back the veil on the fashion supply chain?

As part of 3p Traceability Week, Matthew Reynolds and Scott Leonard, co-founders of the fair trade fashion label Indigenous, will be on-hand all week to answer your questions about fashion traceability. Respond with your questions in the comments section below!

To get the conversation started, we have a few questions of our own:


  1. What are the biggest barriers you face in creating end-to-end traceability in the fashion industry?

  2. How has technology changed the game in terms of monitoring inventory across the supply chain? What technology do you think is most promising for offering an end-to-end solution?

  3. Imagining that every business at every step of the fashion supply chain has technology in place to monitor their stock in and out; what else is needed to achieve whole-chain traceability?

  4. What strategies or initiatives have been useful in making progress towards better traceability in the fashion industry? Are there any examples or initiatives you can point to that have had some success?
Check the comments section below for Matthew and Scott's answers to our questions, and don't forget to ask your own! The Q&A closes on Tuesday, September 16. 

Image credit: Flickr/joebrent

Mary Mazzoni headshotMary Mazzoni

Mary Mazzoni, Senior Editor, has written for TriplePundit since 2013. She is also Managing Editor of CR Magazine and the Editor of 3p’s Sponsored Series. Mazzoni’s recent work can be found in Conscious CompanyAlterNet and VICE’s Motherboard. She is based in Philadelphia.

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