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Traceability in Textile and Clothing Supply Chains: Classifying Implementation Factors and Information Sets via Delphi Study

Tarun Kumar Agrawal () and Rudrajeet Pal ()
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Tarun Kumar Agrawal: The Swedish School of Textiles, University of Boras, S-50190 Boras, Sweden
Rudrajeet Pal: The Swedish School of Textiles, University of Boras, S-50190 Boras, Sweden

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 6, 1-18

Abstract: The purpose of this study is twofold. First, to explore and classify factors influencing traceability implementation, and second, to cluster essential traceability-related information that demands recording and sharing with businesses and customers, in the context of the textile and clothing supply chain. A Delphi study is conducted with 23 experts (including research practitioners and industry experts) to explore, validate, and classify traceability factors and related information using distribution analyses and hierarchal clustering. As a result, 14 factors and 19 information sets are identified and classified with a moderately high agreement among the experts. Among these, risk management, product authentication, and visibility are the highest ranked and the most important factors influencing traceability implementation in the textile and clothing supply chain. While origin, composition, and sustainability-related information are crucial for sharing with customers, the information vital to businesses includes manufacturer/supplier details, product specifications, and composition. It is noteworthy that this research is among the few that classifies traceability factors and information through expert perspectives, and it creates decisive knowledge of traceability for the textile and clothing supply chain. It further provides insights on the extent to which this information can be shared among supply chain actors. Outcomes of this study can be helpful for the development of an information traceability framework. Policymakers can use the results to draft traceability guidelines/regulations, whilst top management can develop traceability-related strategies.

Keywords: traceability; Delphi study; supply chain; textile and clothing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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