Sustainable sourcing is the
way forward

Manage your social and environmental
compliance with FOURSOURCE

FOURSOURCE aims to enable its members to source more sustainably by integrating a wide portfolio of industry-relevant certificates into the platform. These certificates are dissolving the lacking transparency by creating sustainability standards for every stage of production. On FOURSOURCE, manufacturers can showcase their compliance certificates and buyers can not only find new suppliers complying with their standards but can also track and manage certificates of their existing suppliers.

  • These cooperations are revolutionary to our industry and will open radically new ways for brands to find right supply partners and to manage compliance standards in a truly digital way.
    Godecke Wessel
    Godecke Wessel Founder, CEO | FOURSOURCE

Due to our strong partnerships with certification standards, FOURSOURCE is the first platform worldwide that can verify certificates issued by OEKO-TEX, GOTS, WRAP and Textile Exchange. Direct interfaces are continuously created for an automated validation process, aiming to ensure 100% data validity. As sustainability and transparency have become key drivers for the apparel industry's way forward, these partnerships offer completely new ways for brands and buyers to find certified factories and to manage compliance in a safe and efficient way.

What´s more, manufacturers can upload, and buyers can filter for an additional 13 certifications on FOURSOURCE.

  • Accord – on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh
  • Alliance – for Bangladesh Worker Safety
  • Amfori BSCI – Business Social Compliance Initiative
  • BLUESIGN
  • Fairwear
  • GORE licensed manufacturer
  • ICS – Initiative for Compliance and Sustainability
  • ISO 14001 – Environmental Management System
  • ISO 50001 – Energy Management System
  • ISO 9001 – Quality Management System
  • OHSAS 18001 – Occupational Health and Safety
  • SA8000 – Social Accountability Standard
  • Sedex – Supplier Ethical Data Exchange

Sustainability trends of the apparel industry


Driven by consumer behaviour and public pressure, more and more governments and companies see the urgency of changing the way of doing business and are committing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Yet, as high natural and human resource-intensity, fast cycle times, weak regulatory systems in some of the main production countries and missing transparency continue to characterize the apparel industry, there is great room for implementing sustainability measures. The apparel industry is facing increasingly complex customer demands as well as changes in regulations. As a result, sustainable fashion brands are gaining more and more market share and visibility.

Two of the key areas where the industry can improve its sustainability practices are digitization and sustainable sourcing:

  • Digitization enables companies to achieve faster speed to market, better cost-efficiency and saves human and environmental resources.
  • The integration of sustainability in the sourcing practices impacts all business stakeholders, be it suppliers, customers or the environment.

Sustainable apparel sourcing


For a sustainable future, it is not enough to revise a company ́s own operation, a thorough audit of the whole supply chain is needed. Sustainability encompasses three pillars - environmental, social and economic – which parallelly support each other and create a complex system of interactions. Sustainable sourcing is therefore the integration of environmental, social and ethical performance factors into the sourcing process, and discontinuing old sourcing practices, which previously took only financial aspects into account.

The impact of sustainable sourcing is significant in the apparel industry for several reasons, two of the most important ones are the following:

  • As the majority of a brand’s environmental and social impact comes from very early stages, often from the raw material level of the supply chain, hence brands can reduce their negative impact by carefully choosing their suppliers and monitoring their compliance.
  • With a smarter and leaner sourcing process, overproduction can be reduced, thereby also reducing environmental and social footprint.
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