The Textile Tracer Assessment
Below are descriptions of the tracer companies interviewed and their associated tracer technologies
Oritain uses forensic science to test the geochemical composition of a material, which is unique to the place it is grown. The detected isotopes and trace elements are interpreted to produce a one of-a-kind “origin fingerprint” allowing them to detect where the fibres and materials come from. Oritain’s testing mechanism does not rely on packaging, paper-based methods of traceability, tracer particles, or data integrity. Oritain tests can be carried out at various points of the supply chain.
Contact: Isabella Sainty
Source Certain International (Company)
SW Trace® (Tracer technology)
Source Certain International’s SW Trace® is a scientific method for establishing the provenance of a product. Every fibre and material, whether natural or synthetic, carries a unique chemical signature. SW Trace® determines the chemical signature of the fibre and material, which reflects the geographical location in which a product was grown and/or the system by which it was produced.
Contact: Nathan Dubrich
Picarro provides solutions to measure greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations, trace gases and stable isotopes (chemical isotopes that are not radioactive, and they do not decay spontaneously with time) across many scientific applications and industrial markets.
Contact: Peter Swinkels
DNA Gensee is a biotechnology laboratory that allows the identification of plant species present in raw materials, ingredients and finished products from the plant DNA available in the samples.
Contact: Nelly Dubrulle
DNA TraceBack® (Tracer Technology)
DNA TraceBack® by IdentiGEN combines DNA, and data analytics, to provide evidence-based traceability of fibres and materials back to the farm level.
Contact: Ronan Loftus
miniDART ® (Tracer Technology)
Safetraces use DNA to tag and trace fibres and materials. Their miniDART® solution allows item-level traceability using edible, invisible non-GMO naturally derived DNA that is injected into the fibres and materials. Their saniTracer™ solution is a food-safe DNA-tagged particle engineered to behave like pathogens during cleaning and sanitation.
Contact: Erik Malmstrom
CertainT® (Tracer Technology)
Applied DNA Sciences (ADNAS) is a producer of DNA sequences using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology. ADNAS provides supply chain authentication and intellectual property protection solutions to industries including textiles, apparel, footwear, leather, food and agricultural products, semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, fertilisers, printing, and packaging. Applied DNA’s CertainT® platform provides supply chain integrity and brand protection to industry. For cotton, CertainT® has three technology pillars (SigNature® T tagging (artificial DNA tagging), genotyping (DNA analysis) and isotopes) that enable authentication of cotton at all stages of the supply chain and are tracked in a cloud database.
Contact: MeiLin Wan
UNIFI uses a chemical tracer in their REPREVE rPET yarn that resists physical transformation until the final garment. The garment can be tested at the retail level in a laboratory to see what volume of REPREVE has been used in the final product.
Contact: James Cooper
Haelixa provides DNA markers that can be applied to a wide range of materials. They capture a unique DNA sequence in an inorganic matrix that protects DNA from harsh textile processing conditions and can be sprayed onto commodities. The markers can be verified at any point of the supply chain through a quick DNA test on either intermediate or finished textile products. As well as textile and apparel, they operate in diamonds, coloured stones and gold28.
Contact: Gediminas Mikutis
Developed from rare earth materials with 1.3 billion signatories, Olinica’s taggant tracer is a chemical compound that is resistant to high heat and manufacturing conditions. It can either be integrated into the material itself, or integrated into an invisible marking ink onto the product. Detection mechanisms can be inline (Olinica sensor), or handheld and portable (Olinica flashlight), both using ultraviolet B-ray (UVB) technology.
Contact: Julian Ansoult
IntegriTEX® (Tracer Technology)
Tailourlux’s IntegriTEX® tracing technology creates customised tracer substances based on inorganic materials. Proprietary sensor mechanisms can be used in-line and handheld to ensure material integrity at every stage of the supply chain. They provide tracer fibres, masterbatches, slurries and dispersions for various fibre manufacturers and traceability systems29.
Contact: Tobias Herzog
IN-Code Technologies and partners, are a supplier of on-fibre traceable solutions in the textile sector with physical tracing and digitisation of feedstock for fibres and materials31.
In-Code have two core technologies, both of which are capable of digital traceability also and are cost compliant:
IN-Codes: Cost efficient invisible nano-particle tracers applied at the farm or throughout as needed that are analysed by a ‘rapid onsite test’ and verified off-site by spectroscopy to provide unique batch IDs. They can be applied manually (sprayer), mechanically (in-line) or added to liquids pre-production for synthetic fibres and dyes. These tracers also provide invaluable at guaranteeing recycled feedstock lineage.
Li-Codes: optical tracers that are embedded within the fibres through to retail. These tracer fibres are applied to cotton in the inner stage or at the production phase of recycled materials, and can also be added to liquids pre-production for synthetic fibres and dyes.
Contact: Joe Tilley
Stardust Secured (Company)
StarUltraV™ (Tracer Technology)
Stardust Secured™ develops, manufactures, and supplies proprietary covert security solutions and supplies inorganic fluorescent tracers globally, protecting the authenticity of financial instruments, tax-stamps, textiles, leather, goose down, amongst other items.
The technology is a two-part system:
- Covert security tracers called Stardust® which become inextricable from raw materials or physical goods.
- Customisable Stardust® detectors for production, processing, sorting, in-line quality control, in-field authentication, and supply chain traceability.
Contact: Adam Herbenson
Luminspheres™ (Tracer Technology)
Chromition uses Luminspheres™ that can be tuned into any wavelength to produce unique, identifiable barcodes of light. These Luminspheres™ fluoresce when irradiated with monochromatic light of a slide imager. This innovation can be leveraged for use in textiles with an instant reproducible test to identify fibres, dyes and chemicals throughout the supply chain.
Contact: Alan Jackson
FibreTrace® allows brands and suppliers to trace and verify textile fibres from source to store and beyond. Also providing fibre quantification and primary farm impact data, they offer a physical tracer that uses fluorescent technology to mark fibres and determine origin.
Contact: Crispin Argento
Digimarc offers digital watermarks and serialised optical fingerprints to increase the recyclability of plastics and improve the sustainability and functionality of packaging portfolios and commodities. Imperceptible to the eye, but readable by smart phones and tablets, the Digimarc barcodes itself the passport of the product ensuring traceability
Contact: Gloria Adeboi
Arylla uses a digital taggant ink to print invisible codes onto products. These codes are readable using a phone or table without the need for a special device. The decryption software is an API, which integrates with third party software to offer different types of customer experiences, fight counterfeiting, and improve traceability. Label printers and garment manufacturers use digital printers to apply Arylla’s ink onto labels and products before shipping them to the factory or distribution centre. The technology is used as a secure and lower cost alternative to QR/NFC.
Contact: Perry Everett