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A Single Swab of Your Shoe Could Tell You Exactly Where It Was Made

There has been a wave of brands committing publicly to sustainable practices, but this often means an overhaul of their current production system. New technology has been emerging to help brands discover, improve upon and communicate around their supply chain management, but the latest innovation in the space utilizes a new data point: the microbe.
Phylagen is a data analytics company that is working to build the world’s largest environmental microbiome database. But what does that have to do with footwear brands? In short, microbes occur on every inch of the earth’s surface — including inside factories — and these microbes are highly location-specific. Therefore, they can be leveraged to function as a barcode or ‘taggant’ for a particular location, such as a manufacturing facility.
Using Phylagen technology, a retailer or brand could register a facility’s unique microbial data and then test products at the distribution center to see if they include this taggant. There would be no need to attach an RFID tag or similar, as these microbes would be naturally present on any products made in that environment; a swab of the shoe would suffice.
“By using naturally occurring genetic material, we can use that genetic information to help brands understand whether or

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Via:: https://footwearnews.com/2019/business/technology/phylagen-launch-supply-chain-data-product-1202744624/