Marks & Spencer Taking more RFID into Garment Supply Chain

MarksSpencer-rfid-blogMarks & Spencer expects radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to play an increasingly important role in the clothing recycling process as it moves towards a closed-loop garment supply chain.

The process of identifying the components of products will become “more efficient” as technology improves, said M&S’ director of general merchandising technology and sourcing at the Plan A Stakeholders’ Conference in London in June.

“I see a world where ultimately most garments in the future could easily have an RFID tag built into them which could then go through a machine that would automatically recognize a cotton garment, a blended garment, a wool garment and sort it automatically into chunks of raw material. As soon as you’re able to do that in an efficient way, it opens up a whole lot more opportunities around closing the loop.” he said.

More RFID technologies will be used after a number of major US retailers agreed a set of guidelines for assigning serialized identification numbers to individual items.

The guidelines, released by information standards organization GS1 US, will make it possible for firms to trace individual products across the apparel supply chain.