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NEW YORK – US technology business, Applied DNA, has signed an MOU with Indian business, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), which will see the two commercialise a recycled polyester fabric authenticated throughout its lifecycle by ADNAS’ CertainT solution molecular tagging solution. The solution will be used to provide full traceability for |Elan GreenGold fibre which is used by brands such as Lee, Wrangler and Kappa. While the fibre is produced entirely by recycled PET bottles, there have been growing calls in the global apparel industry for greater proof of authenticity and traceability – in short, brands want to be 100 per cent certain they are using rPet in their products, amid concerns around counterfeiting and contamination with virgin PET.

Applied DNA has already demonstrated with its supply chain partners, full end to-end traceability by tagging over 20 million lbs of recycled polyester, testing hundreds of samples, and tracking forensically authenticated products from fibre to finished goods.

Prior to the signing of the MOU, Applied DNA and RIL had tagged recycled polyester at RIL’s facilities in India in successful proof-of-concept studies. Under the MOU, samples will be tested both on-site and at Applied DNA’s laboratory in Ahmedabad. The groundwork for the commercial scale-up for DNA production for manufacture of CertainT tagged staple fibre and filament yarn is underway.

Asked about the need for such a solution, and particularly suggestions that there is, at present, some uncertainty related to the use of post-consumer recycled polyester to make sustainability product claims, MeiLin Wan, vice president, textile sales at Applied DNA emphasised the importance of brands protecting their IP and reputation, particularly given the number of false claims which have come to light around certain fibres in recent years, including organic cotton and Egyptian cotton.

She told Apparel Insider: “The costs to investigate, conduct raids and legally defend cases is not insignificant – many IP attorneys know that it is a losing proposition to attempt to recover lost market share. All they can do is minimise the damage that is already done to the brand’s IP and reputation. In the case of product recalls – you may have seen that the cost of the Egyptian Cotton – Welspun recall – cost them US$36m in class action settlement and it cost US$90m in customer refunds to Target for the issue of false label claims. So we ask, how can you not afford to use CertainT?

“Our collaboration with Reliance will enable brands to use recycled PET fabrics and textiles that come from a known closed loop value chain. While everyone is focused on costs, they are forgetting about the value to the brand for authenticity and trust – the added value that we will demonstrate with CertainT is about the ability to know its your product, your brand, and your supply chain.”

Added Gunjan Sharma, chief marketing officer – Polyester Business, RIL: “Our R|Elan brand is growing in apparel and it is used by brands such as Arrow, Lee, Wrangler, Raymond, Anita Dongre, Kappa and many more. These brands now have the option to add CertainT forensic traceability to assure that their products are sustainable, traceable and authentic.

“Without Applied DNA’s proprietary molecular tagging system, the uncertainty, and risk is too high and the burden of proof is much harder for brands and retailers. So we are very excited to bring a solution that we believe can truly make a difference for the planet, the people and our processes.”

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