Sunday, January 05, 2014

The Supply Chain of My Underwear

It's been a while since I've been inspired this much about a pair of underwear. I recently purchased a pair of Icebreaker GT Spring Boxer Briefs. It's ski season here in Europe and I wanted a little extra warmth and you can't go wrong with merino wool. It's a perfect, natural material for insulating the body and keeping it dry.
But besides the product itself, the New Zealand-based Icebreaker Ltd., offers an intimate peek into its supply chain for every garment using a serial number, which it calls a "baacode" -- I guess "baa" refers to the sound of the sheep, unless these New Zealanders are originally from Boston.

The baacode enables consumers to trace the supply chain path from the sheep in New Zealand to the manufacturing plant in China.
As explained by Icebreaker:

"Icebreaker Baacode lets you trace your garment back through the transparent supply chain to the farms that grew the merino fibre it was made from. We believe that the best way we can use this land is for fine wool production. Its more sustainable, and it uses resources in a low-impact way. We take great pride in sustaining the resilience of the natural resource base, including the air, waterways, soils, tussock rangelands, and native scrub. Merino are an interesting breed of sheep and are best suited to the unique character of our land."

Each of the "growers" who raise the sheep are interviewed in a series of videos on YouTube. While this isn't the first firm to open up its supply chain, I recall McDonald's as well, it is the first small business to do so. If there are other examples please send them my way.

Nice job Icebreakers.






4 comments:

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