COTTON USA™ and Oritain™ have signed a partnership to provide industry leading, forensic verification of origin for all U.S. cotton.
COTTON USA™ and Oritain™ have signed a partnership to provide industry leading, forensic verification of origin for all U.S. cotton.

COTTON USA™ and Oritain™ have signed a partnership to provide industry leading, forensic verification of origin for all U.S. cotton.

As introduced, this collaboration will give brands and retailers the assurance they need to make responsible sourcing and purchasing decisions.

While this level of traceability is new, the U.S. cotton industry has strived to produce and deliver high quality cotton that is the most sustainable cotton in the world.

This ambition is already being realized through improved fiber properties, increased productivity and a shrinking environmental footprint. All cotton-producing regions in the U.S. are aiming to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, soil loss, water, energy and land usage.

To achieve the level of traceability that the industry is demanding, Oritain's unique method applies forensic science to detect trace elements in the cotton itself. Soil composition and other environmental factors give the cotton an inherent 'fingerprint' specific to each location – what Oritain calls the Origin Fingerprint.

As said, this is the only way to be absolutely sure of where particular cotton was grown. Cotton can be tested at any stage on its journey from farm to shop floor, giving buyers complete assurance that the product has not been substituted along the way.

Guaranteeing origin will address traceability challenges faced by the global cotton industry, including minimizing the risk of supply chain partners blending the product with lower quality fibers.

"This partnership with Oritain will provide COTTON USA with a unique selling point in both domestic and export markets," said Bruce Atherley, Executive Director, Cotton Council International. "Now U.S. cotton will offer the highest level of end-to-end traceability in the industry, combined with a raw material that is leading the way in terms of sustainable practices – two things that global clothing brands now demand from their suppliers."

"Global supply chains are incredibly complex and the potential for blending and other illegal activity in the production of cotton textile products is large. However, given that Oritain's Origin Fingerprint cannot be altered or faked, COTTON USA and their customers can be safe in the knowledge that their product is exactly what it says it is," said Rupert Hodges, Executive Director, Oritain.

This new partnership follows a successful pilot program and rigorous blind test for Oritain, during which samples were collected across Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee, and subsequently identified with 100% accuracy.