Sustainable and ethical sourcing claims influence the purchasing behaviour of the contemporary consumer almost as much as price-point and brand. However, the market is becoming increasingly saturated with these claims, leaving consumers confused and sceptical over claims not backed by adequate proof.

Label claims about where and how something was produced stem from the product’s provenance or ‘origin’; therefore, validation of the provenance is critical to supporting these claims. The complexity of textile supply chains prevents consumers and supply chain stakeholders from having a line of sight to the farm of origin, which creates opportunities for substitution, blending and unethical behaviour.

The lack of visibility and transparency in cotton supply chains has been highlighted in recent years, where the chain’s complexity paired with the high volume demand of the resource has seen these priorities not progress.

Key issues facing cotton supply chains

Forced labour
Forced labour, child labour and poor working conditions are common in the cotton industry in many parts of the world. These issues were brought to the forefront in the last two years with allegations of Uyghur Muslims subjected to forced labour in the Xinjiang province of China.

Cotton is a resource-intensive crop to grow, manage and process. The industry has faced heavy criticism for its use of water and pesticides (cotton production represents approximately one-third of global pesticide use) and how this contributes to sustainability efforts around the globe.

Origin verification for the cotton industry

Our verification service provides scientific evidence of origin and can analyse cotton fibres and subsequently verify their sourcing claims at any point in the supply chain.

Source Certain’s robust and trusted science offers assurance to retailers and stakeholders by adding a layer of credibility to sourcing claims that consumers can trust. Source Certain started using their provenance verification solution on cotton ten years ago.

We have improved our methodologies and paired them with state-of-the-art instrumentation that allows us to verify provenance to a level that is hard for our competitors.

Explore our Provenance Verification Program