Increased demands on the textile industry

Supply chains in the textile industry are complex. From the cultivation of cotton or the production of animal fibres to finishing and processing, numerous actors from around the globe are involved. Obtaining transparency on whether all actors comply with environment or social requirements is a major challenge. And particularly in the case of the textile industry, no company can solve the challenges of global supply chains alone. A lack of digitalisation and standards make the exchange of supply chain data inefficient and expensive. Read here about how ftrace uses global standards and process digitalisation to help companies achieve transparency in their own supply network.

A typical supply chain in the textile industry.

The following is a simplified diagram of a typical supply chain in the textile industry. Supply chains can differ from this one – especially global supply chains, which can include additional intermediary suppliers.

Obst und GemüseObst & GemüseLieferkette

Cultivation and harvest

Cotton is harvested.


Cotton and cleaned and processed into yarn.



Fabrics are woven from yarn.


Fabrics are made into articles of clothing.



The retail products are stored in a central warehouse.


Products are transported from the central warehouse to individual stores.



Products are sold to consumers.

Transparency in complex supply networks

An article of clothing typically has a long and often confusing journey behind it before it is offered for sale. The path from the extraction of the cotton fibres as a raw materials to the production of the individual components such as buttons or zips, to the subsequent assembly into an end product often leads through multiple countries, each with different data systems. ftrace uses established data standards to help companies reduce this complexity. By harmonising the technical infrastructure of all members of the supply chain, internationally dispersed supply structures and production steps can be connected transparently.

Verify working conditions and environmental standards

The growing social consensus on the importance of social and environmental conditions in the supply chain is putting increasing pressure on suppliers and retailers in the textile industry to meet increased demands for responsible business practices and to document this on the basis of valid data. Thanks to the ability to specifically retrieve supply chain information and certificates in ftrace, the necessary supply chain insights with respect to sustainability, fairness or quality can be made transparent and verified. This enables you to provide reliable information to your stakeholders at any time about the conditions within your supply chain. This maximum degree of transparency increases trust in products or brands in the long term and thus their reputation on the market.

Standard: a language for greater efficiency

Just as complex as the textile industry supply chains themselves are the data requirements for companies, namely checking the social, environmental and qualitative characteristics of raw materials and products.  This is usually done by forwarding custom questionnaires to one’s own supply network. The result is inefficiency throughout the industry. Together with its community, ftrace standardises questions in the areas of sustainability and quality assurance and handles their distribution, thus providing for acceptance and maximum efficiency.

Customer trust on the basis of valid data

Under what conditions was the cotton grown and harvested? Is the acreage historic farmland or were rainforests cleared for it? Where the workers paid fairly? Consumers increasing expect answer to these questions. With ftrace, companies can tell the stories of their products on the basis of verifiable and thus credible data from the supply chain, thus scoring points with consumers on the topics of sustainability and quality.

Do you have any questions?

Get in touch with us and learn more about the benefits of ftrace for the textile industry. We will be happy to answer your questions!


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