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In May 2018, we set out on an ambitious journey to break down every garment into its raw components, trace them back to their origin and put that information into the labels of each piece of clothing by the end of 2019. The modern garment supply chain is immensely complex and conventional “Made In” labels offer a dangerously simplified truth. Now, we’re tracing every step of our garments’ creation, so that both we at ASKET, and you as an individual, can make informed decisions about the clothing we choose to invest in - and by extension, the type of business we choose to endorse. Where there’s no information, lets start asking. For every question we raise and every truth we uncover, we’re increasing our consciousness, nudging not only ourselves, but this industry as a whole, to gradually start considering what it actually takes to create the garments we wear everyday.
Follow along as we trace our entire collection, from farm to finished garment.
Overall product traceability
TRACEABILITY & OVERALL ACCOUNTABILITY REPORTS
Early 2020 we introduced The Principles - our playbook in how we define and act on our overall responsibility as company in the fashion industry. Transparency, and our Traceability Standard are fundamental in establishing accountability for our actions. As such, we’re no longer publishing separate Traceability Reports, but embedding our progress reporting in our overall Principles document which we’ll update every year. Use the links to download our 2020 Principles or access the last Traceability Report.
Full Traceability is our own transparency standard, requiring us to identify every unique process in the creation of our garments and the exact location of the farms, plants, factories and facilities at which these processes are carried out. We trace our garments by traveling and visiting manufacturers, mills and farms across the world or by verified certificates. No matter how far we’ve traced a garment, we provide everything we know - and everything we don’t - right here at asket.com and on the Full Traceability label sewn into every garment.
To track our progress, we’ve developed a traceability score, grouping every garment into the four major categories of its creation: Manufacturing, Milling, Raw Materials and Trims. Each category is split into its individual sub-processes, up to six per category, that are traced and rated according to how much we know. Finally, we weight and sum it all up to arrive at our traceability score.
With 20 garments in our permanent collection, there are around 400 processes and locations, spread across the whole world, that we’re tracking down - a nearly impossible task. To put our work and knowledge into perspective, a 2018 study found that 30% of brands don’t know where their clothes are manufactured, 82% don’t know where their fabrics are milled and 93% don’t know where their raw materials come from. With our scoring system, that puts the industry at just 28% traceability.
Manufacturing 30% + Milling 30% + Raw material 30% + Trims 10% = 100% Traceability.
Manufacturing (30%), tier 1, includes all steps from fabric to final garment: cutting, sewing, washing, pressing and packing. It’s the most labor intense part of a garment’s journey, which is why we want to know the working conditions and visit all manufacturing facilities in person.
Milling (30%), tier 2, is the creation of the main fabric from raw materials such as wool or cotton: combing, spinning, twisting, dying, weaving, finishing. These processes are energy, water and chemical intense, so we want to know that energy is clean, water is recycled and chemicals are safe.
Raw Material (30%), tier 3, is the starting point of a garment: the cotton farm, or the wool sheep that yield our precious raw material. It’s intense in labor and use of soil, water and pesticides so we want to know that human and natural resources are taken care of. When it comes to wool, animal welfare and ethical practices, such as non-mulesing, are of great importance.
Trims (10%), normally refer to the remaining components of a garment: Sewing thread, labels, hangtags, buttons and zips. To allocate our tracing efforts according to the importance of a component, we also include garment lining, so long as it’s a small proportion of all fabric used.
Last calculation: 2020-09-08
100% traceability by 2019 is not a mission without its challenges, but we plan to bridge any gaps by developing strong relationships with our suppliers and partners, always diving deeper into the value chain. Our team is constantly pushing to uncover more information by traveling the world visiting our manufacturers, mills, and the farms behind every single garment - from the cotton fields to merino wool farms. Not all locations can be visited in person, but as a standard we visit all manufacturers and most mills. As we do, we tell the stories of these factories and their workers, both in real time on our Instagram and on our factory page. We invite you to have look and enter the beautiful world of craftsmanship.