Swiss traceability solutions provider Haelixa said that it has successfully used its DNA tracing technology to trace Egyptian cotton from original source to the finished garment, media reported.
Haelixa carried out the work as part of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) ‘Sustainability Pledge’ initiative to help fashion brands improve transparency and traceability in their complex global value chains.
The company said it was proud to be part of a group of experts that was developing policy recommendations and conducting projects with key industry players to set traceability benchmarks and later develop them into standards.
Haelixa developed a unique DNA marker which was applied as a fine spray to GIZA 96 lint cotton in Borg Al Arab, Egypt before it was used to produce fabric by Swiss manufacturer Weba.
Haelixa says the DNA markers remained embedded in the material and withstood industrial processing, ensuring traceability from the source right through to the finished garment.
Samples of lint cotton, yarn, and fabric were polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tested at different stages in the supply chain and the correct DNA marker was detected each time. The forensic data obtained was recorded on a blockchain system provided by UNECE.
The marked fabric was eventually used to make premium cotton dress shirts for fashion brand Hugo Boss, another partner of the UNECE project, in which the DNA markers could still be identified.