The industry must accelerate its efforts to increase the transparency of its supply chains. There must be an extensive and trustworthy back and forth flow of information alongside the flows of physical goods and money. Transparency is important to create more responsive supply chains, it is important to improve sustainability and it is needed to comply with demands of civil society and government. Only if the information is able to travel smoothly through the supply chain, in a trustworthy and standardized way, will consumers and stakeholders be able to value all the efforts put into making products less environmentally demanding.
Digitization will help to create more transparency, but it isn’t sufficient. An industry wide effort to improve transparency needs to be developed, involving standardization and education. Industry wide in the context of transparency clearly includes the entire supply chain, upstream towards agriculture and the petrochemical industry. IAF believes that the apparel and textiles industries need to be collaborating institutionally much stronger. It has therefore strongly invested in its relation with ITMF, the International Textile Manufacturers Federation, which will enable both organizations to work jointly on transparency going forward.