Industrial park developer and operator ARISE IIP and traceable fiber technology company FibreTrace, have unveiled a new pilot program that will enable Africa’s first fully traceable cotton supply chain.
The new pilot partnership between FibreTrace and ARISE IIP will provide spinner-to-garment traceability at the Glo-Djigbé Industrial Zone, where the latter’s planned Republic of Benin spinning facilities would be located (GDIZ).
It will give the vertically integrated mills, which are reported to be the first of their kind, full traceability, allowing them to trace, verify, and audit the clothes’ lifetime from spinning mills to retailers, sharing the journey of Benin premium cotton with end consumers.
The programme will kick up in the autumn of 2022, when the GDIZ spinning, fabric, and garment manufacturing facilities are expected to open.
Given FibreTrace’s success in other cotton-growing regions, the technology is expected to be implemented at a large scale throughout all textile processing sites and facilities in Benin and across the African subcontinent. According to ARISE IIP and FibreTrace, the technology will provide transparency and true custody of supply chain solutions for brands and suppliers throughout the world engaging with African manufacturers and promoting the growth of best agricultural practices on the continent.
FibreTrace CEO Shannon Mercer, said that the agreement is the first step toward increasing the visibility of African-grown cotton in the global textile business and allowing farmers to play a more prominent role. They look forward to the day when primary impact data from African farmers is paired with traceability to highlight Africa’s contribution to the textile industry’s brighter future.
FibreTrace embeds luminous pigments on the cotton fiber at the spinning machine to ensure cotton traceability. The unbreakable pigments can be read and monitored at every level of the supply chain, and each audit is logged on the blockchain, making the information secure, accessible, and irrefutable, according to the company.
The relationship between ARISE IIP and FibreTrace is expected to put Benin at the forefront of textile innovation and technology, boosting visibility, securing economic competitiveness, and establishing a thriving value chain for Africa’s agriculture.
Gagan Gupta, founder and CEO of ARISE IIP, said that ARISE IIP will now be able to guarantee the sustainability of the premium cotton processed on its industrial platforms across Africa owing to the technology implemented by FibreTrace. ARISE IIP aspires to be a leader in the sustainable transformation of local resources, where every stage of production is transparent for the benefit of local farmers and the end customer, throughout all of its industrial parks.
Both ARISE IIP and FibreTrace believe that the events at COP26, as well as increasing pressure from governments, legislative bodies, and consumers to commit to greater climate action and take full responsibility for their sustainability progress, have demonstrated that transparency and traceability are critical to leading dialogue and meaningful change for the global textile industry.