AI tracks fashion’s supply chain

Together with

The Future. Fashion logistics firm Altana is using AI to track the ethics of clothing at every step of its creation — a “Google Maps for supply chains,” according to its CEO. While the US government is already adopting the tool to scan for the use of forced labor in imported goods, Altana hopes individual consumers all around the world will have the chance to make sure their clothing is ethically made — a move that could spotlight the brands that are doing it right.

Labor labels
A new AI platform may ensure the clothes you wear are as ethical as possible.

  • Altana collects billions of data points from public internet scraping, commercial datasets, and non-public records (data from customs, logistics, and financial firms) in a variety of languages.
  • It then employs AI to sift through the information and provide detailed insights about where materials derive from, whether forced labor is used, how textiles are transported, and what brands use those materials.
  • This helps suppliers, retailers, and brands comply with evolving laws around ethical sourcing and manufacturing (a win for them and consumers).

Altana got a major seal of approval when the US Customs and Border Protection agency signed a multi-year deal with the firm, aiming to use the system to track whether imported goods were made by Uyghur forced labor in China’s Xinjiang province. 

Since the passage of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, CBP has already blocked 812 clothing shipments worth $34 million since last June. Using Altana, expect that number to grow exponentially.


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