Technology and Background
Circular Content Management System (CCMS) is a cloud-based platform developed by Improvement IT with Netherlands-based clothing manufacturer Dutch aWEARness. All garments produced by Dutch aWEARness are 100% recyclable and are leased to the consumer who returns it after use so the materials can be reprocessed back into raw materials. Though a relatively small company, Dutch aWEARness aims to promote the circular economy and collaborate with other designers, retailers, manufacturers and others involved in the textile industry. Dutch aWEARness has used a track and trace barcode system for all of its products and materials and is now making the platform, CCMS, available for others in an effort to increase transparency and facilitate the circular economy.
How CCMS works:
- Data input (i.e. suppliers, processes, energy, raw materials, transportation modes, etc.)
- Batch code is created for every step of the chain and linked together
- QR code generated for final product
- Scan shows all materials, partners, environmental impact and a Google map of the product’s route
Textile waste takes up approximately 5% of U.S. landfill space according to EPA estimates and only 15% of textiles are currently recycled in the U.S. By promoting the circular economy, the CCMS enables greater accountability and transparency regarding raw materials and waste in the textile/apparel industries. The tool not only facilities better supply chain practices and facilitates the circular model for manufacturers but enables consumers to have a better understanding of the sourcing and environmental impact of the product. The tool in of itself does not solve the problem but facilitates the transition to a circular model that will reduce waste, encourage re-use and recycling of materials, and lessen the environmental impact of textile production.
- Apparel industry
- Textile manufacturers
- Clothing retailers
- Governments (Dutch aWEARness has partnered with the European Commission’s Eco-Innovation program)
- NGOs and activists
- Software developer, Improvement IT
The platform is leased using a subscription-based model and training and maintenance is provided. Potential challenges are scaleability and cost. The data tracked is based on input provided by the user so accuracy of data input would be crucial to the tool’s performance.