Product DNA has been providing transparency and traceability solutions for the global economy since 2005.

Turning Denim Challenges into Traceability Wins

This month, we highlight the importance of traceability and transparency in the denim industry.

We spoke with Tony Tonnaer, our transparency expert and general manager of Product DNA Netherlands, who brings a unique perspective from his past experience in this sector. Let’s explore the progress, challenges, and future of traceability in denim together.

How did your experience in the denim industry shape your view on traceability and transparency?

TT: I have been working in denim since 1997 and developing sustainable denim brands since 2003. Since then, I was always in control of every detail of the jeans, where and how it was produced, but there was no system to manage the data nor a good way to publish it in an easy way to consumers

What are the unique challenges in textile traceability compared to other industries?

TT: One of the nice things in fashion is there are every season or even month new trends and styles. For transparency, this means that the work to trace products with a short lifecycle a lot of effort for each new product, which will be replaced fast for a new style. This means it concerns a lot more data management than a lot of other industries which move slower.

Why should denim players care about traceability and transparency in 2024?

TT: First, when you know how, where, and from what your jeans is made, the easier you can create a high-quality product which lasts very long and has the lowest possible footprint while making it. Besides that, legislation like DDP, CSRD and EUDR will be in place in a couple of years, so companies need to prepare for this new future.

How do you follow up on the latest trends in the field?

TT: I meet up with suppliers, machine producers, brands, and denim experts regularly to get a view of the latest developments of innovation. For denim trends I look online shows, stores, tradeshows, industry magazines, and trend forecast books/websites to stay up to date.

What’s next for Product DNA to help brands stay ahead in traceability?

TT: One of the main worries for companies concerning traceability is the amount of work to collect, manage and secure all data. Great service, knowledge and AI should be a solution that should generate less work, more accuracy and guarantee trust to realize full transparency.


Thank you, Tony, for sharing your firsthand insights into this specific topic. The textile industry remains one of the key areas of interest for Product DNA.


Here you can check out our team’s photos from Kingpins Show Amsterdam (24-25 April 2024), where Product DNA took an active part.

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