Haelixa, a Swiss firm has collaborated with Hong Kong-based design-led luxury and sustainable yarn manufacturer UPW to mark and trace the entire stock service UPW yarn range starting with its Fall-Winter 2022 collection. Haelixa marks the fibres at UPW’s facilities in Dongguan with a unique and specifically developed marker.
The unique marker is invisible to the naked eye and does not affect the product properties such as quality in any way. It is also harmless for humans and the environment, GMO-free, vegan, GOTS and Oekotex Standard 100 compliant. This is an important factor to UPW to ensure highest social and environmental standards for their products, the two companies said in a joint media release.
Traceability to create supply chain transparency, to prove product origin and to support sustainability claims is not a topic that is relevant only for brands and retailers. Manufacturers like UPW also see a clear competitive advantage in making their products traceable to prove product authenticity and integrity to their customers. The clear benefit of physical traceability is that the information about the product origin, the different suppliers involved and related standards applied is safely embedded into the product itself during its entire journey along the value chain.
To verify and authenticate UPW products, Haelixa is taking control samples from the finished product. A simple DNA test provides a forensic proof that the product is what it is claimed to be: a high quality UPW yarn dyed and spun in Dongguan. The principle of the verification test is a ‘key-lock system’, meaning that the DNA sequence needs to be known to be read out, which makes it impossible to replicate and to be used in an unauthorised way.
Kwan Lieu, marketing and sustainability manager at UPW said, “It’s important for brands to have visibility into their supply chain and our aim is to provide confidence and reassurance that the production of their knitwear, aligns with their brand values – which is why we have partnered with Haelixa. UPW’s entire Fall Winter 2022 collection is coated with Haelixa’s DNA marker. This physical tracer makes it possible for retailers and brands at any point along the supply chain to verify if the yarns came from UPW’s certified mills. This is key to mitigating risk in the supply chain.
UPW’s on demand traceable knitwear yarns are also carried in stock for fast sampling with no MOQs, bringing accessibility to retailers, brands, and independent designers alike – because a sustainable future, is transparent and inclusive.”
Gediminas Mikutis, co-founder and CTO of Haelixa further added, “Transparency and traceability are the necessary basis for ensuring sustainability claims across the textile value chain. We at Haelixa are very proud of the partnership with UPW because of the efforts they put into sourcing sustainable materials to produce yarns with both the exceptional quality and true commitment to environmental protection and sustainability. The Haelixa traceability solution implemented across the complete Eco Plus collection (75 different blends) will enable UPW’s customers to verify the material origin and integrity at any point of the value chain. This is a large step towards scaling traceability to every sustainable fibre.”