Define your traceability strategy

Addressing the concept of traceability within the fashion industry is far from straightforward.

In our experience, whenever I pose this question to various brands or stakeholders I collaborate with, the responses vary significantly. Notably, the answers differ not just between different organizations but also within various departments of the same company.

For instance, the Sustainability team might interpret traceability in terms of environmental impact and ethical sourcing, whereas the Operations team may view it through the lens of supply chain efficiency and logistics. This diversity in understanding underscores the fact that there isn’t a universal, one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to implementing traceability in the fashion sector. Read here the article of different departments beneficts CLICK HERE.

Given this complexity, it’s imperative for each company to conduct a thorough and individualized assessment of its unique requirements and challenges. Only then can it effectively formulate and execute a Traceability Strategy that aligns with its specific objectives, operational realities, and sustainability goals. This tailored approach is essential for companies aiming to successfully navigate the multifaceted landscape of traceability in the fashion industry.

Start from these 3 elements to implement the right traceability strategy:

Traceability Strategy Step 1: Define Your Business-Level Goal

Establishing clear business goal is crucial. The goals might concern the elimination of operation’s inefficiencies, attracting ethical consumers, or increasing shared value through sustainable practices, looking beyond current needs.

Questions to ask

– How can I efficiently optimize processes, reduce time to market, and eliminate inefficiencies in my company in the upcoming 3 years?

-How can I leverage all this new requirement and improve my value proposition or differentiate my offer in the market?

Traceability Strategy Step 2: Define your Traceability Objectives

Once your business goal has been defined, the traceability objectives linked to it must be defined. A Traceability Strategy must have defined objectives: start collecting data and documents along the supply chain to gain transparency with your clients, ensuring compliance law or achieve operational excellence to enable circularity.

Questions to ask

-How can I become compliant with the European Commission’s Green Claims Directive, French Agec regulation or the German Supply Chain Act, and stay updated on future market regulations?

-How to authentically communicate my sustainability, avoiding greenwashing and promoting transparency?

-How can I support my supply chain in the evolution process to a structural value chain?

Traceability Strategy Step 3: Define Your Desired (measurable) Outcome

The desired outcome should highlight tangible and measurable benefits over time, such as validating sustainability claims, underline critical steps along the supply chain and centralizing information for regulatory compliance.

Questions to ask

-How does validating data and sustainability claims affect brand perception and corporate objectives?

-How can the centralisation of regulatory information mitigate legal risks and influence corporate reputation?


If you want to start implementing a traceability strategy with a pilot you have to start with pilot projects and then scale up. It is important to start with simple projects and gradually move towards complete supply chain traceability.

Choose your first goal: for example, Hugo Boss started with the materials, with the control on the procurement side, then there was an evolution towards the need for production control, quality control, risk management, and chemical and physical testing.

Gradually, this became an integrated service and since 2020, all divisions of Hugo Boss have been publishing their Tr1s.

This systemic and granular approach allows us to have a structured set of information that enables us to have a Digital Product Passport linked to the supply chain, dynamic and scalable.

“A group like Hugo Boss, like many fashion groups today, has 29 Product Divisions, each with its own distinct needs. If you want to start implementing these traceability procedures you have to start with pilot projects and then scale up. We begin with simple projects and gradually move towards complete supply chain traceability. If we hadn’t started years ago, we wouldn’t have this depth of information today.

It is crucial to start as soon as possible, you can’t wait until 2025, when the law on market transparency comes into effect, to implement a traceability tool.”

Alberto Lampis, Strategic Sourcing Raw Material Senior Specialist at Hugo Boss.

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