Video interview to Hugo Boss, Denim and Creamoda: transparency and traceability in fashion industry
At the European Development Days (EDD) 2019, Capacity4dev spoke to representatives from the fashion industry to find out what the next steps are for ethical fashion, and the challenges and opportunities that will come with them.
At the European Development Days (EDD) 2019, Capacity4dev spoke to representatives from the fashion industry to find out what the next steps are for ethical fashion, and the challenges and opportunities that will come with them. Representatives from both industrial associations and the private sector explained to us that increasing transparency and traceability will foster sustainable practices in the industry.
Heinz Zeller, Head of Sustainability and Logistics at Hugo Boss, believes that there will be two main drivers of transparency and traceability in the fashion industry: the loyalty that consumers and stakeholders build through transparency, and the introduction of laws to uphold standards around transparency.
'If you start to be transparent, you create a certain trust, and trust is loyalty,' Zeller said. 'I think that, especially in today’s times, you want to know more about [the] clothes you wear, but you [also] want to know more about the conditions in the factory, so that will completely change the way we can communicate with consumers.'
According to Zeller, from Hugo Boss, the next step in increasing transparency could be to set up a platform to jointly store and share information based on the blockchain ecosystem, which is something his company is currently looking into.
Zeller believes that one of the biggest issues in the industry is the difficulty of exchanging information that sometimes needs to be secure and is not always intended for the public.
Cali, from Candiani Denim, supports the idea of collaborating with others in the industry to align and harmonise standards. Transparency, traceability, sustainability and quality link together in many different ways.
'If we visualise an imaginary pyramid, the top of the pyramid is the transparency, then traceability, sustainability, and the base of the pyramid is quality – not only the mere quality of the product, but also the entire quality of the process: the production, the quality of work conditions and so on,' he said. 'From the point of view of the manufacturing processor, the primary focus is on the ingredients, which means the origin.'
Another interviewee, Jo Van Landeghem, from Creamoda and member of Euratex a Belgian fashion house, echoed the need for more transparency and traceability in the fashion industry.
Spearheading a new project called ‘bAwear’, Van Landeghem explained that his goal is to implement sustainable change. 'We represent a lot of small and medium enterprises who have been in competition globally with companies that claim a lot, [but] it’s very, very hard to verify those claims,' he said. 'Hence, we set up a programme. We are testing out a working method called ‘bAwear’, where we are going to see if we can substantiate all the claims that are being made, whether it’s about the environment or social labour – all those aspects of doing business and explaining why your product is better than another.'
eBusiness is based on digital data and documents exchanged between IT systems of firms.
Adoption of a standard language and of shared procedures offers to firms immediate advantages,
like costs and errors reduction as well as time and labour savings.
In respect of proprietary formats, a standard language facilitates the creation of new eBusiness relationships and cuts maintenance costs, in parallel it assures
good scalability for future uses.
The current eBIZ Reference Architecture has a chapter dedicated to RFID technology adoption.
Who uses RFID technology for logistic optimisation gets great advantages by connecting RFID and eBIZ technology.
RFID enables logistics optimization (picking, goods delivery, ecc.), the parallel adoption of eBIZ
allows to share advantages with the commercial partners, from inventory reporting to despacth advice anticipating the physical flow o freights.
Sinergy between flows of digital information supported by eBIZ and traceability actions for anti-counterfeiting initiatives and for contrasting parallel sales channels are highly interesting.
'If I have sell-out data…'
'If I have a faithful inventory report, I could activate a never-out-of-stock service …'
'If the warehouse systems had the list of freights going to be delivered …'
'Se non dovessi continuamente richiamare al telefono per avere le date delle consegne …'
'Suppliers fill data on IT systems when they have the time, often in a uncomplete way …'
'Each order is uploaded manually and sometimes we get an error…'
'The solution could be nice but our supplier does not want to invest so much for me only …'
'each customer ask for the same information but with a different format and different procedures …'
In order to setup eBIZ you should, firstly, identify the collaboration processes that have to be implemented prioritarily.
Later, through the Reference Architecture of eBIZ, the job of the IT manager to adapt the company information system to eBIZ is facilitated.
ENEA CROSS-TEC laboratory aims to support firms in new technologies adoption.
In the framework of its institutional activities, the laboratory can help you and your IT providers to understand opportunities and advantages of adopting eBIZ in your business.
For more information or to receive further material you can contact the laboratory responsible: firstname.lastname@example.org
Launched by European Commission, eBIZ-TCF project (2008-2010) was co-ordinated by EURATEX (European Confederation of textile and apparel
industry) with the support of CEC (European Confederation of footwear industry) and ENEA, and developed a
Reference Architecture for data exchanges that is publicly available and based on the harmonisation of experiences and results from Moda-ML,
Shoenet and GS1.
Launched at CEN (European Committee for Standardisation) in 2012, CEN Workshop eBIZ is an European standardisation
initiative, promoted by EURATEX with the support of ENEA, with the aim of improve eBIZ results and
foster a more extended adoption in the fashion industry. The Workshop lasted for 18 months and was the opportunity for stakeholder to work jointly and propose new developments
(for example to better support RFID usage).
eBIZ 4.0 is an European COSME project, launched on December 2016 and addressing the joint adoption of eBIZ and RFID in the European supply chains. The project is based on three industrial pilots in Spain, Italy and France.
Since June 2013 the Reference Architecture, version 2.0, is available as CEN WS Agreement (CEN CWA 16667), up-to-date and supporting new market requirements, as identified
by an international experts group working in the framework of CEN. Among the other novelties, beyond RFID, there contributions from GS1 about business
collaboration models between producers and retail organisations.
Compared with previous 2010 version (click here ),
the new eBIZ Reference Architecture 2.0 for eBusiness harmonisation in Textile/Clothing and Footwear sectors"
has new contents related to:
A method to represent and classify Business Models,
Production Scenarios for customised footwear products for fashion and for health,
Cross-organisation RFID adoption support,
Test and compliance checking,
Yarn techical properties modelling and management in supply relationships,