PPAI Magazine May 2023

The Long March | Must Read with textile manufacturer Grupo M, based in the Dominican Republic, to move its production closer to the North American market, as well as forensic science company Oritain to verify the origin of products and raw materials. “As part of our commitment to delivering high-quality, responsibly sourced apparel, we work to ensure the integrity of every fabric we use,” says Randy Hales, CEO of Next Level Apparel. “That means we comply with robust sourcing standards that are endorsed by leading associations in the industry and hold our suppliers to the same high expectations, using isotopic testing as an important safeguarding mechanism.” Cheron Coleman, vice president of private brand product development and global supply chain at Trevose, Pennsylvania-based supplier alphabroder Prime Line, says, “We have implemented a material traceability process, from dirt to shirt, for our private brand products, which ensures that the inputs that make up all the parts of a finished product have verifiable documentation bridging back to their production. We trace our total supply chain from raw material origin through finished product assembly.” In April 2022, New Kensington, Pennsylvania-based Polyconcept North America launched ProudPath, an online platform designed to help distributors navigate social and environmental responsibilities and reflect the company’s policies on responsible sourcing, including diversified manufacturers and local materials. “At PCNA, we moved 90% of our cotton products outside of China,” says Liz Haesler, PCNA’s chief merchandising officer. “It’s the right thing to do, but it hasn’t been easy. We’ve mostly moved to India and Bangladesh, where we can make sure that we’ve got local cotton resources.” For the remaining 10% and the hard goods it continues to procure in China, PCNA has a team of 80 people in the country who evaluate the vendors the company works with, Haesler says. “They actually go and do inspections and make sure that the factory code of conduct that they have signed is being followed so that we are responsibly sourcing.” Liz Haesler Cheron Coleman Supply chain traceability focuses on steps and processes grouped into five tiers: Tier 5 Raw material origin Tier 4 Converting and preparing the raw materials for processing Tier 3 Preparing the raw materials to be processed and converted into yarn, dyed and finished Tier 2 Transforming the yarn into finished textiles through a process of knitting/ weaving and dyeing Tier 1 Finished product assembly PPAI • MAY 2023 • 71