September 5, 2022 Media Collaboration

Transparency in Fashion: I:CO is featured in the Traceability Playbook

Ahrensburg, June 2022. I:CO has participated in the creation of a manual to help simplify the traceability of products and materials within the fashion industry. The Traceability Playbook was recently published and developed by the team at TrusTrace in collaboration with Fashion for Good and Fashion Revolution. The book shall guide companies through the challenges of keeping an overview of the origin, movement and development of their products and materials and provides concepts on how to communicate that information to their customers.

I:CO, a brand by the SOEX Group, contributed to this project by disclosing information on how it sorts and recycles clothing for the major retailers Mango and H&M. By participating in the Traceability Playbook, I:CO is making an important contribution to the exchange of information and knowledge for the benefit of the entire industry.

To turn transparency into a reality – both internally and externally – more and more brands are striving towards traceability throughout their supply chains. However, the more components and materials are part of the value chain, the more complex traceability becomes. This is particularly the case in the fashion industry, where brands, manufacturers and suppliers are often spread across several continents. To enable traceability, the industry needs collaboration, automation and data-driven systems. The Traceability Playbook considers them all.

„It sounds simple, but in reality, traceability is incredibly complicated to achieve,“ TrusTrace explains in the Playbook. As a result, the guide offers both current insights and examples of best practices, as well as expertise from industry thought leaders. To break down how to best sort worn clothing for reuse and recycling, SOEX and I:CO CEO Walter J. Thomsen and his team provided information and an interview to the manual‘s authors. To this end, I:CO provided insight into its successful collaboration with H&M and Mango and its business practices as a service provider for sorting and recycling.

„The biggest challenges the textile market is facing lie in the fulfilment of circularity. There is a current lack of design for recycling and the fact that many interesting solutions are still in their infant stage means a lot of research and development is happening on a pilot level but is not yet scalable for a bigger market“, says Walter J. Thomsen. Therefore, the biggest challenge for brands is finding the right partner to provide the exact services they need for their recycling needs. For companies such as Mango, H&M and Besteller, I:CO already serves as one of those key partners, specializing in the collection, sorting, reuse and recycling of used textiles and footwear.

The handbook is a plea for transparency and traceability for products and materials while companies find themselves increasingly under pressure to deliver on their sustainability goals. Traceability has also gained increased significance through politics’ demands for European supply chain laws that would require EU companies to audit their suppliers along the entire global supply chain, including all direct and indirect business relationships. Due to this political urgency and to drive sustainable change along the entire value chain in the industry, I:CO shared information and data for the pathbreaking manual.

About Traceability Playbook

Created to drive sustainable change in the fashion industry, the Traceability Playbook is a complete guide to supply chain traceability. It was written by TrusTrace in collaboration with Fashion Revolution and Fashion for Good, and draws on the expertise of industry thought leaders. As an open resource, the guide is free and accessible to anyone interested in learning more about traceability and how it can be leveraged.

About I:CO and SOEX

I:CO, a subsidiary of the SOEX Group, is a global specialized service provider for the collection, sorting, reuse and recycling of used textiles and footwear. The sorting and evaluation of collected garments takes place in certified facilities and follows the international waste hierarchy: reuse takes precedence over recycling. Thanks to its innovative in-store take-back system and extensive network, I:CO offers fashion companies and end consumers around the world a simple but sustainable solution to dispose of garments sensibly and give them a second life. The result: a valuable contribution to the reduction of textile waste and relief of the environment, in which new resources are gained from old. In this way, I:CO also supports its fashion partners in integrating recycled fibers into their manufacturing process and closing the textile cycle entirely.

Patricia Hagelstein