Traceability and technology have combined to put Australian cotton farmers on the app – allowing consumers of a Swedish clothing brand to see exactly who created their cotton garment – from field to fabric.
By scanning a button sewn into the garment, cotton used to create a selection of women’s clothing by fashion label, Gina Tricot, can be traced back to the farmers who grew the cotton in the Macquarie Valley, New South Wales.
This is the second pilot that Cotton Australia’s Cotton to Market program has been involved with, working with blockchain creators PaperTale and the manufacturer to tell the story of the cotton growers involved.
According to Cotton Australia’s Supply Chain consultant Brooke Summers, the use of technology to trace products is becoming more sought after.
“There’s no doubt our brand and retail customers are looking for clever ways to trace and track their products and impact right back to farm level, and we expect new technologies to facilitate this will become more prevalent in the market,” she said.
“By getting involved in pilots like these we can learn a lot about what our customers need, as well as the limitations and challenges in working within these technologies,” she said.
Angus O’Brien (pictured above [centre] with farmers Ross Hubbard [left] and Kirsty Wettenhall who grew cotton used in the Gina Tricot project), farms at Warren in the Macquarie region and was one of the farmers identified and said the blockchain technology was “impressive”.
“I have an appreciation of the cotton growing process, but for someone who is in a country far removed from where this happens, it would be amazing for them to see this and learn about where their cotton came from,” he said.
“We have no idea where our cotton ends up when it leaves the farm. It’s wonderful to think that the cotton from our farm has ended up in top-end fashion for a well-known brand overseas.”