The denim manufacturer Diamond Denim is using a solution developed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH). It is based on a DNA marker, which is embedded directly into the product itself. This negates the need for a certificate or label, which can be falsified or replaced, and creates a traceable physical fingerprint.
Using the technology offered by ETH spin-off Haelixa, as much information as is required can be packed into artificially generated DNA sequences. These tracers are mixed with liquid, which can then be easily applied to the raw material or to semi-finished product at any production step. The markers are reportedly invisible to the naked eye and do not change the properties of the product. Product origin and authenticity can be verified with a quick DNA test.
Diamond Denim and Haelixa have already trialed the solution in a first joint project, as was reported in a press release. In this, cotton fiber was marked with Haelixa’s tracer after bale opening in the Diamond Denim factory in Pakistan. The read out in the Haelixa labs in Switzerland was conducted with garments after several household washings.
The collaboration with Haelixa shows Diamond Denim’s commitment to transparency through traceability. According to the press release, the company has already implemented various measures with a strong focus on sustainability. This technology will now enable it to prove its use of recycled fibers, for example. Diamond Denim states “there are more and more false claims related to recycling”.
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