Fashion production software company, SupplyCompass, has announced it has entered into a partnership with The Woolmark Company, a global authority on wool. Together, the two industry innovators are setting up trusted wool supply chains through a phased roll-out, as well as launching a wool guide to help brands launch new categories of wool products.
The Woolmark Company connects the global apparel and textile supply chain on behalf of Australia’ woolgrowers that help fund the not-for-profit company, SupplyCompass said today in a press statement. The Woolmark logo is one of the world’s most recognised and respected brands, representing a commitment between woolgrowers, brands and consumers on the authenticity and quality of the world’s most luxurious and innovative natural fibres, the company adds.
Through the partnership with The Woolmark Company, SupplyCompass will now offer its SME network of fashion apparel and homeware brands the ability to produce sustainable wool collections—a fibre-first for the production platform. “Brands using SupplyCompass will have immediate access to new manufacturers trusted by the leading wool association in the world, as well as total traceability, with access to the full journey from farm to product. By establishing long-lasting supply chains and offering flexible minimums, SupplyCompass is aiming to empower more brands to produce sustainable wool collections with this versatile natural fibre,” SupplyCompass said.
The phased roll-out of wool supply chains will initially see a select number of manufacturer partners available for SupplyCompass users who will be put through a rigorous onboarding process, the company said. According to SupplyCompass, this process involves a qualifying digital assessment—comprising the factory’s operational set-up, labour policies, code of conduct, sustainable practices and environmental initiatives—and a visit to the factory by a member of the specialist team*. SupplyCompass plans to have a global selection of manufacturers by the end of 2021, including knitters and weavers from India, China and Europe.
The SupplyCompass Wool Guide
SupplyCompass and The Woolmark Company have also joined forces to develop a comprehensive guide to cover everything brands need to know about wool. The SupplyCompass Wool Guide covers the extensive properties of the fibre, different types of wool, the wool production process, and the social, animal and environmental impacts of wool. Additionally, the guide highlights the considerations for designing a collection with wool, The Woolmark Company’s certification, and the latest innovations in wool that will change the way brands work with the fibre (think wind and water-resistant wool, wool faux fur and digital printing).
“Wool is a 100% natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre and commonly refers to those fibres produced by sheep. The most reused and recycled fibre in the world, wool has the ability to be sustainable when produced and processed properly. Wool makes up only 1.2% of the global apparel market by volume, but makes up 8% of its value, reaffirming wool as a luxury fibre,” SupplyCompass said.
“We’re over the moon to be entering the wool market with the absolute experts, The Woolmark Company. We’ve been wanting to add wool to our supply chain for a while, but knew it had to be done in the right way. This meant working with the right partner as well as getting our platform ready to ensure circularity and sustainable design could be integrated with transparency from the beginning—with the end goal of ensuring all wool garments have a positive impact throughout their entire lifecycle. We’re also thrilled with our Wool Guide which explains the fibre in detail,” commented SupplyCompass Co-Founder, Flora Davidson.
The Woolmark Company Managing Director, Stuart McCullough added: “We’re excited to be partnering with SupplyCompass and continue to build our global network of trusted supply chain partners. The current climate is also an opportune time for designers, brands and innovators to expand their knowledge and we are confident the new Wool Guide will be a beneficial educational resource.”
SupplyCompass is a product development and production management platform, used by both fashion brands and manufacturers. The software enables brands to design sustainable collections, source materials, collaborate on sampling, and manage production—all in one place. Through the platform, brands can access the SupplyCompass network of trusted manufacturers and work with a dedicated team of production experts.
SupplyCompass was founded in 2016 and is based in the UK (London) and India (Delhi and Hyderabad) and has since built a network of over 200 trusted manufacturing partners, visiting, assessing, and handpicking only the best to join. The majority of its network is in India, with some strategically placed partners in Portugal, Nepal, China, and Spain.
* During the pandemic, while SupplyCompass has been unable to visit partners the team has set up virtual factory tours and the company has partnered with Inspectorio’s RISE platform to empower factories to self-assess their COVID-19 prevention programmes.
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