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July 17, 2024

Traceability: the first step of a CSR strategy

In the world of fashion, trends come and go, but one aspect remains immutable for a sustainable industry: the importance of traceability. Traceability isn't merely a topic gaining popularity in the press and among industry professionals; it is the cornerstone of any meaningful Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project.

On March 21, 2024, at the Magna Pars Hotel à Parfum in Milan, we brought together a panel of experts to discuss the central role that traceability plays in the industry. Moderated by Emanuele Genovese, Country Manager Italy at Fairly Made®, the discussion included:

  • Mauro Sampellegrini: Head of Research and Innovation at Sistema Moda Italia.
  • Mauro Toffoli: Innovation Senior Manager - Fashion and Luxury Goods Industry at Accenture Italia.
  • Elisabetta Sabaini: Smart Solutions Sales Manager at MION S.P.A.

Understanding the Importance of Traceability

As Emanuele Genovese stated in his opening remarks, "There can be no sustainability without traceability." Traceability involves not only deeper product knowledge but also ensuring accountability throughout the supply chain, from sourcing raw materials to final product manufacturing.

Here's why it's so crucial:

  1. Meeting Stakeholder Expectations: Stakeholders, including investors and consumers, increasingly expect transparency from fashion brands. Traceability serves as a means to meet these growing expectations.
  2. Compliance with Legislative Trends: With consumers becoming more aware of their purchasing decisions and legislators pushing for supply chain transparency, traceability is not just an option but a necessity.

Traceability: Opportunities and Challenges

Implementing traceability presents a range of opportunities and challenges:

Risk Management.

  • Opportunities: Robust data on products and suppliers enable companies to identify and mitigate various risks such as forced labor and environmental impacts.
  • Challenge: Data collection complexity. Gathering data from numerous suppliers and materials poses a significant challenge that requires extensive effort, both in terms of information research and centralization.

Supplier Engagement.

  • Opportunities: Brands that promote ongoing dialogue with suppliers can more effectively address transparency challenges.
  • Challenge: Supplier Resistance. Convincing suppliers to share data may face resistance due to privacy concerns and the effort required to provide requested information.

Harnessing Traceability for CSR

Traceability can be a key tool in strengthening CSR initiatives. Here's how brands can use traceability to achieve strategic objectives:

  • Setting Optimization Goals: Comprehensive data allows brands to optimize their supply chain and production processes, providing the only solution to establish and achieve sustainability goals while reassuring stakeholders.
  • Reinforcing Credibility: Transparent practices backed by concrete, verified data enhance a company's credibility and promote trust among consumers, brands, and investors.
  • Creating Value: Despite initial costs associated with traceability implementation, the goal is to create long-term benefits. A brand's transparency can contribute to differentiating brands in the market, becoming a competitive advantage.

Insights from Experts

The discussion at the Magna Pars Hotel à Parfum provided valuable insights from industry experts.

Mauro Sampellegrini highlighted regulatory landscape and stressed the importance of traceability for both small and large companies, especially in the context of digital transformation.

Mauro Toffoli emphasized the need to integrate traceability into every aspect of the supply chain, leveraging technologies like smart labels and NFC to enhance consumer engagement.

Elisabetta Sabaini showcased the practical implementation of traceability, demonstrating how MION S.P.A. utilizes woven labels and RFID technology to effectively and enduringly communicate the story of each product.

Taking the First Steps

Traceability is thus a fundamental requirement for a solid, forward-thinking CSR strategy. By leveraging our SaaS solution, we assist fashion brands in taking the first steps towards traceability and impact measurement.

With our expertise, brands can confidently navigate traceability complexities and pave the way towards a more sustainable and conscientious fashion industry.

The goal? Empowering brands to amplify their transparency efforts, achieve compliance, and make a difference.

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