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James A Hayward
President & CEO Applied DNA Sciences, Inc.
You also have similar technology for synthetic fibres. Tell us about it. How is it different from your technology developed for cotton value chain?
The challenges that synthetic fibre manufacturers and brands face are similar. The SigNatureT system for synthetics is similar after tagging, as we must follow the DNA molecule at every step of the supply chain to assure quality, integrity and traceability of the product from source to shelf. The way we tag synthetics, currently happens at the master batch pellet stage, which allows for the DNA molecule to be included as part of the extrusion into filament yarn. The difference in the application of the DNA technology is that for synthetics the DNA molecule is embedded in the fibre itself. For cotton, the DNA is applied and bound to the surface.
We are working with US-based companies such as Techmer PM and Palmetto Synthetic Yarns. SigNatureT DNA tagged fibres are being converted into woven and nonwoven textile products that can be used throughout the interior of cars, and in many other polyester and nylon fabrics such as footwear, as well as performance apparel. The emphasis is on development of new and engaging products.
Are you working on a similar project for any other fibre? If yes, please share some details with us.
Just in textiles, SigNatureT is currently being piloted in other natural fibres like wool, leather, and also for synthetics, we can tag rayon, polyester, nylon, in both yarns and fabrics. We are the only company that can do this because we know how to create the DNA molecule so it is stable, safe and will survive all manner of chemistries as it moves from point of origin to point of sale.
How do you plan to help control slave labour in the textile industry?
SigNatureT levels the playing field and helps to ensure a fair return to all parties of the supply chain starting with the grower all the way to the spinner, manufacturer, assembler, distributor and retailers. Because we tag at the source, we know who, where, how, and when it is done. We are also there to train and ensure the tagging follows our standard operating procedures. We also monitor all tagged fibre 24/7 through our fully automated SigNatureT DNA transfer systems. It is the most accurate system on the planet because it is based on forensic science.
Have you partnered with major textile companies and apparel brands to help them avoid using materials produced by slave labour? If yes, then which?
What we can say is that brands recognise the value forensic innovation brings to providing 'proof of claims'. This is a revolution in the textiles industry because you can now tag the product itself and not rely on a paper document to tell you if you have an authentic product or not. Brands that use our technology believe that SigNatureT offers them the ability to be at the leading edge, and ensure that their products stay pure, and offer high-quality performance to their customers.
We would love to mention the brands we work with, but because of the nature of the textile supply chains, we cannot at the moment. The focus for us is to work with partners who are committed to traceability, transparency and trust in their supply chains.
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