Friday, March 5, 2021

From cotton to shirt: Esquel promotes transparency for the textile and apparel industry by showcasing end-to-end traceability of its supply chain

Vertically integrated global textile group Esquel takes a leading step in the industry to build supply chain visibility and track ESG commitments through implementation of a network-based traceability solution

Esquel Group is one of the first major global textile and apparel manufacturers to adopt an independent network-based traceability solution at scale. Powered by Hong Kong-based Serai, the solution presents new ways for Esquel to work with brands to achieve their supply chain transparency and sustainability goals.

Under this developing solution and the corresponding business process being implemented, Esquel uploads data starting from their cotton and yarn lots through to fabric and garment production and shipment orders, including geographical information and order details. The uploads are encrypted and securely stored with Serai on the cloud as an independent host, where data is automatically organized and mapped across the supply chain. Authorized users of the platform can look up a shipment to easily learn about, for example, what fibers went into the shirt and which factory spun the yarn, in one place. The information can be extracted, sorted and shared according to the needs of different stakeholders, including brands and customs authorities.

A long-time advocate for disclosure and transparency in the industry, Esquel sees trust as an integral part of their corporate culture and way of business. Adapting this new solution is part of the Group's ongoing commitment to building lasting relationships with their business partners, including leading global fashion brands. Esquel is working closely to onboard them onto the platform to turn this into a concerted industry effort.

"Esquel has always strived to be a leader in offering innovative solutions in the apparel industry. With this traceability solution, we are being proactive in showing transparency and sustainability in our supply chain processes and are leading the apparel industry to do so. This transparency helps our customers and suppliers address their compliance requirements and minimize risk," said Marjorie Yang, Chairman, Esquel Group.

Esquel understands that data in the apparel industry has traditionally been scattered and difficult to gather, posing a potential obstacle to trust and trade. Cotton supply chains are notoriously complex with myriads of players intertwined on a global level. The Group envisions, as more industry players integrate with this new solution, businesses can begin to fully leverage the platform to trace and visualize order flows across global supply networks, manage supply chain risks, and utilize data for evolving compliance and market needs. Going forward, suppliers can also integrate information about their environmental, sustainability and governance (ESG) commitments to the same space.

"Leveraging Serai's technology, we combine multiple data sources into a single view. We can give our customers easy access to information never before seen and it helps us identify new opportunities through data analysis. This seamless flow of information and proof of chain of custody of our goods helps solidify Esquel as a pioneer in the apparel industry and one that customers can trust," said Edgar Tung, Chief Operating Officer, Esquel Group.

With a vertically integrated supply chain setup, Esquel is in the unique position to be able to pioneer significant use of the platform and give brands full visibility over the provenance of their products. At least six large global brands have already received a demo and are planning to adopt Serai's Traceability solution.


How it works

Data links with Serai's platform across Esquel's supply chain enables end-to-end transparency


Serai's Traceability solution allows Esquel to organize and show chain of custody with granular order data and digitalized document trails, which can be independently auditable by third parties.

By aggregating a wide spread of complex information into one user-friendly interface, Serai helps users to speed through compliance data collection in a cost-effective way.

For instance, with increased traceability being requested by import authorities globally, Serai's platform provides the capability for Esquel to develop and compile a document control list for up to 44 sets of documents for a shipment of cotton apparel products from China regarding its supply chain provenance, which can be shared through the platform.

The organized data has potential to enhance the way end consumers interact with their clothes too, with full supply chain visibility just a QR-code scan away.