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Cap 1 – The Supima® project

Produce Sinapsi’s project with La Methode® and the Supima® Association is an excellent example of how innovation and sustainability can complement each other and foster synergy and supply chain work in the textile sector.

This collaboration has led to the production of raw Supima® GOTS cotton cargo trousers, customised and fully traceable from the cultivation of the cotton to the finished garment, thanks to the strategic partnership of all the actors involved in the transformations.

Cap 2 – Context

Thanks to the support of Produce Sinapsi®, which in this case acted as a trait d’union between growers, spinners, menders, cutters, and packers, it was possible to promote and fully realize this highly ethical project, a true example of transparency and traceability.

Starting with a prototype from the archives of La Methode®, an Italian clothing brand known for its focus on quality and sustainability, the Supima® Association in the guise of its president Marc Lewkowitz, expressed the desire to create an iconic garment, traceable and using its own certified raw material.

Supima® is a non-profit organisation that promotes and protects American Pima cotton, recognised for its extraordinary softness, strength and brilliance; this, combined with a local, Italian and GOTS-certified processing chain, has led us to an exclusive, unique and excellent product.

The key points on which the work focused were:

  • Sustainability
    The decision to use Supima® cotton, known for its high quality characteristics, thanks to the extra-long lime and its controlled cultivation, perfectly meets the needs of a customer who is attentive to quality and its environmental and social impacts;
  • Tranparency
    Ensuring full traceability of the product, from the fields to the finished garment thanks to a supply chain approach and the forensic methodology developed by Oritain.
  • Customization
    Working in close collaboration with customers, offering them the opportunity to build their own garment or prototype according to specific needs and expectations.
  • Quality
    Making a durable, recognizable product that meets the expectations of a modern customer is the minimum goal for any manufacturer who wants to give a signal to the market in which it operates.

Cap 3 – Project phases

After a few preliminary meetings, the project kicked off and was divided into various work phases.

The specific request to have a product also certified to GOTS standards suggested the start-up of a new dedicated supply chain, first searching for certified fibres and then proceeding with all subsequent processing, always managed by third parties accredited according to the organisation’s standards and directly monitored by us thanks to the close working relationship that has bound us together for a long time now.

Raw materials selection
This essential first phase was the starting point of the project. From there, design inputs were defined, selecting fibres according to the customer’s desired fabric.

Supima® cotton represents excellence in quality, durability, and crop monitoring, as well as being rather rare on the market, representing around 1% of the world’s cotton production.
It is grown in California in the USA and is renowned for its extra-long fibres, which give fabrics greater strength and softness; as well as cleanliness and prestige.

Partnership and traceabity
In order to ensure real traceability, teamwork, supply chain work, is essential.
This is only possible by establishing trusting relationships with subcontractors and at the same time conducting timely audits in support of those conducted by certification.

For this project, the collaboration between Produce Sinapsi®, La Methode® and Supima® made it possible to create a fully traceable and monitored supply chain, leading to the writing and definition of a life cycle assessment.
Every stage of the production process, from the cultivation of the cotton to the making of the trousers, was monitored and documented.

Design and customization
Style is crucial, but before we get to the definition of the design, it is important to think and understand where we want to go.
The cargo trousers were designed with current trends and the needs of the customer in mind, who was looking for a fairly heavy and stiff fabric that could have an urban, structured look.

Enter La Methode® with its archive from which it drew the basic garment and on which the customer was able to customise finishes and details such as linings, type of pockets and functional accessories.

Production and quality control
Each step of the process underwent a strict control procedure and it was not trivial to arrive at the final result. The yarns were so special that they required special processing to be produced, causing some faults that were promptly resolved thanks to the intervention of the spinner himself.

All production was carried out in Italy, using artisanal methods and advanced technology at the same time. In addition, each garment underwent rigorous quality controls to ensure maximum customer satisfaction, from the yarn to the finished garment, and all processing waste was fully managed

Cap 4 – Results

Reduced environmental impact
The decision to use Supima cotton has significantly reduced the environmental impact of its cultivation compared to conventional cotton by an estimated 90% for water consumption alone.
The transparency of the supply chain allowed the monitoring and management of cycles from a scientific point of view, enabling us to minimise waste and draw up a product life cycle study.

Customer satisfaction
Customers appreciated the opportunity to customise their trousers, increasing their sense of ownership and satisfaction with the product and achieving the goal.
The quality of Supima® cotton has contributed to a superior user experience and high-profile market expendability.

Innovation in textile sector
The project demonstrated how it is possible to combine craftsmanship, technology and sustainability in the fashion industry. It is a big commitment, it requires shrewd and targeted production, the costs are not insignificant, but it is a way forward for everyone if we want to move in the direction of full traceability and accountability.

Cap 5 – Challenges and learned lessons

Ensuring high quality requirements, supporting a transparent, traceable and certified project required a considerable coordination effort between the various actors in the supply chain.

In addition, the guarantee of transparency and compliance, throughout the supply and processing chain, of the product required audits and strategic documentary checks at every stage. Supima’s cultivation protocols added up to real, tangible and verifiable GOTS certification. Not so obvious.

This type of production still represents a niche, unfortunately, but it is a big step forward in terms of how much a supply chain can grow and improve its approach.
By producing clothing with these values, it is possible to scientifically monitor environmental impacts, mitigating them and improving the associated social footprint.

Cap 6 – Conclusion

The project by Produce Sinapsi, La Methode® and Supima® is a shining example of how innovation and sustainability can be integrated in the fashion industry.

The creation of unbleached, customised and traceable Supima cotton cargo trousers not only met the needs of modern consumers but also set new standards of quality and environmental responsibility.

This case study shows that collaboration between different entities with a common goal can lead to outstanding and sustainable results.

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