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NEW YORK CITY – The beta version of an ambitious new online tool aims to help consumers find out exactly where their clothes are made – by eventually identifying every apparel facility worldwide.

The latest beta version of the Open Apparel Registry (OAR) is a database of apparel facilities that uses Google's Geo-coding to identify yarn and fabric mills, textile dye-houses and finishers as well as garment manufacturing facilities. It works in a similar way to Google maps.

The new, free-to-use tool, currently in development, creates a common and standardised resource of facility names and addresses and is claimed to be the first AI-based name-and-address matching system for the textile and apparel industries.

The OAR was developed by supply chain transparency platform Sourcemap, and funded by the C&A Foundation, sourcing data from organisations like the Fair Factories Clearinghouse and dozens of brands such as Gap and Nike.

Currently, over 65,000 suppliers are already listed.

Speaking to Ecotextile News ahead of the launch, Dr Leonardo Bonanni Founder and CEO of Sourcemap Inc., noted: “the OAR’s aim is to provide a reference and to streamline supply chain mapping. We hope it serves as a reference for not only brands and NGOs, but for researchers and start-ups aiming to inform the public about the performance of various apparel brands and their products.”

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