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GENEVA - A total of 56 countries have backed a new blockchain-based transparency toolkit for tracking any garment or item of footwear from raw components to the point of purchase.

Launched by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and endorsed by its member states - which include the US - the free open-source Ethereum-based blockchain system has been crafted by more than 250 industry experts.

It provides an immutable record of provenance, through the use of smart contracts and DNA markers, to enable consumers, regulators and companies to check claims around sustainability and ethical production.

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