AMSTERDAM – Made-By has officially launched its new benchmarking tool, which enables apparel brands and retailers to accurately measure and communicate their sustainability activities. The launch of the hugely ambitious ‘Mode-Tracker’ appears to represent a distinct ratcheting-up of Made-By’s ambitions to expand its work. Brett Mathews reports from the launch in Holland.
The newly released Mode Tracker – currently being piloted by G-Star and Ted Baker – incorporates Made-By’s existing, well-known fibre scorecard tool but goes a step further, ‘scoring’ a much wider depth and breadth of environmental and social related sourcing activities.
Interestingly, the new tool communicates year-on-year improvements, and enables users to drill-down to find more detail about the brand’s activities and experiences.
The ambition and scope of the tool, which has a ‘reasonable’ entry price dependent on turnover and brand size, led one well-known UK brand to tell Ecotextile News that it could be a “game-changer” if it catches on.
However, we would suggest that – at this stage – this is a big ‘if’ given that the tool is essentially, according to the official Made-By press release, using a “brand’s existing systems, processes, standards and tools as inputs” and verifying “the depth and breadth of the brand’s sustainability engagement.” Made-By ranks these activities using “expert reviewed metrics.”
For larger brands with solid PR and media teams already in place to communicate such sustainability activities, the benefit of Mode-Tracker would appear to rest on the credibility that could be gained by having a third-party such as Made-By ‘score’ its sourcing practises – credibility which, itself, rests on how much store users place in Made-By’s scoring system.
Made-By also confirmed in Amsterdam to Ecotextile News that it has had “extensive” conversations with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition with a view to, at some stage, incorporating – and scoring – Higg Index outcomes into the Mode Tracker system.
Ecotextile News awaits with interest to see whether this comes to pass and whether these two tools, which appear to offering similar things to brands, can actually work together.