Menswear brand Asket has progressed significantly in tracing the entire supply chain. Asket’s ‘Full Traceability’ standard requires the brand to break down every garment into its raw material, trace each component to its origin and put that information – the entire supply chain – into every single garment. This new standard was introduced just 5 months ago.
Asket’s tracing work is at full speed and 2/3rd of its supply chain has been uncovered. Now the Swedish brand is making its ongoing work public at asket.com/traceability.
“The apparel industry is in desperate need of change. We don’t believe in communicating grand 2030 plans that will be long forgotten before they expire. We haven’t reached our goal yet, but want anyone to be able to follow our journey and hold us to our promise,” said co-founder August Bard Bringéus.
The apparel industry is the second most polluting industry globally and the orchestrator of one of the most globalised, complex and exploitative supply chains in the world. In times where radical transparency is increasingly demanded, the prevailing ‘Made In’ single-country-of-origin labeling standard is selling us all a conveniently simplified but utterly distorted truth, making it difficult for even the most conscious of consumers to make an informed choice, Asket said in a press release.
“If we do not know where our goods actually come from and continue fail to respect the resources that have gone into creating them, we’ll never change our buying behaviour – neither as brands nor as consumers. Only when we face the full story and the true cost of the products we put out there, can we start making better decisions,” expalined Bringéus.
Asket introduced the Full Traceability standard and the ambition to become 100 per cent traceable by the end of the year, arguing that it wanted to help boost a positive circle of change – educating consumers, increasing their standards and in turn putting pressure on the industry to follow. Since then their traceability label has been introduced in every new garment made – if not fully traced, with the information at hand at the time of manufacturing. To accelerate the tracing process the Asket team is traveling the world to visit manufacturers, mills and even farms, all the while broadcasting the trips via Instagram to their roughly 30.000 followers.
But facing challenges with uncooperative suppliers and logistical barriers, the team has been forced to revise its goal: The whole collection won’t achieve 100 per cent traceability until next year. While uncooperative suppliers will be weeded out, logistical challenges are of a different nature. Raw materials such as cotton and wool are purchased in bulk at auctions and origins become mixed upon spinning, erasing the trail of the material. To bridge the gap Asket is investing heavily to establish direct relationships with raw material suppliers.
“We recently struck a deal with an Australian Merino wool farm and an Italian spinner to establish a fully traceable supply chain, from the sheep to the sweater. It required committing to much larger volumes than we would have otherwise, but we want to show that it’s possible and inspire more brands to follow,” conluded Bringéus.