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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cotton Fabric Mill Traceability System

In an effort to continuously drive increased traceability for Better Cotton,  BCI is introducing user accounts for fabric mills to the Better Cotton Tracer. Initially, this will be run as a pilot. The change will mean that for the first time fabric mills will be part of the Better Cotton chain of traceability, allowing BCI retailers and brands to trace their cotton purchases more accurately and transparently.

In 2013, BCI, in partnership with ChainPoint, introduced an online traceability platform for use by ginners, spinners and retailers to record purchases and sales of Better Cotton – the Better Cotton Tracer.

The new pilot category gives fabric mills access to the Better Cotton Tracer for one year. This access will allow retailer members of BCI to track the use of Better Cotton more easily as it moves through the supply chain, increasing transparency.  In some cases, retailers will have full visibility from field to fabric for the first time.  The updates to the system will not yet provide the option of ‘Better Cotton Products,’ but do take BCI one step closer to the possibility of full physical traceability becoming an option for Retailer and Brand Members hopefully in 2016.

Ruchira Joshi, BCI Director of Programmes – Demand, says: “BCI aims to recruit 250 fabric mills as users in 2015, before assessing the success of the fabric mill pilot category.  We hope that by extending the use of the Better Cotton Tracer across different actors, BCI will contribute to more trusting relationships between these actors and a more transparent cotton sector as a whole.”

BCI launches the online Better Cotton Tracer back in August 2013 according to the company’s announcement on January 14th, 2014.

In August 2013, following eight months of developing the system, BCI launched the Better Cotton Tracer (BCT).  The BCT is a system used by traders, spinners and retailers to record purchases and sales of Better Cotton.  It tracks the movement of Better Cotton volumes as it moves up the supply chain through a centralized system of entering Better Cotton Credit Units (BCCU’s) into a central database.  In simple terms, the system checks volumes in and out in every single step of the supply chain.

Training took place at the annual Supply Chain Events in Turkey, Pakistan, India and China.  They started to see Better Cotton move through the system in September 2013, and by December 2013, they saw the first activity on the BCT from their Retailer and Brand members.

The Better Cotton Initiative exists to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future.  BCI aims to transform cotton production worldwide by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity.

To achieve this mission, BCI works with a diverse range of stakeholders across the cotton supply chain to promote measurable and continuing improvements for the environment, farming communities and the economies of cotton-producing areas.

Cotton is one of the world's most important natural fibers.  It is used by the majority of people on Earth nearly every day.  The  fiber is obviously used for clothing but it is also used in numerous other industries in one capacity or another.  A case can be made that the fiber supports the livelihoods of nearly 250 million people.  Therefore it is very important to the global economy.

If you are interested in learning more about cotton, you may want to review the cotton prices section of the Apparel Search fashion industry guide.

Read the cotton definition to learn more about this amazing fiber.

Learn more about cotton fabric mills.  The mills listed in our textile directory are not necessarily currently on the Better Cotton system.  If you are a clothing manufacturer planning to do business with a cotton mill, we suggest you ask the mills if they are on the system before decided on which mill to work with on your project.

Research more about The Better Cotton Initiative.

Thank you for taking the time to read our textile industry blog post. 

Learn all about fabric here on the Fashion Blog.

We hope that you have found this news to be informative. If you have comments or questions, please add your thoughts in the discussion area below.

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