New Zealand's Little Yellow Bird raises $1m for new garment tech

Little Yellow Bird, a company that produces ethical and sustainable workwear and basics, has raised $1.2 million to develop a tech platform which will verify the origins of apparel in the garment industry in a quest to end modern-day slavery.

The tech platform called Origins will use NEM blockchain technology to trace garments from origin to sale.

Little Yellow Bird

“Just like I did with Little Yellow Bird, I’m actually trying to solve a problem that I’ve faced first-hand and one that I can see impacts people and businesses across a range of industries,” said Samantha Jones, founder and CEO of Little Yellow Bird.

Consumer pressure for increased visibility in the garment supply chain is part of the reason why Little Yellow Bird has been so successful, but Jones also recognises that her business is unique and ultimately wants this to become the norm.

“As we’ve become a more established business, my focus has definitely shifted to differentiating our brand based on product, and helping other businesses to implement the traceability and ethics that are now ingrained in the Little Yellow Bird ethos,” she said.

Jones became the second New Zealand venture and first woman globally to have a project funded via the NEM community fund proposal process.

The NEM platform is a blockchain solution that aims to simplify the development process with a specific focus on impact projects.

“The supply chain industry is one of best areas to develop a real world blockchain use case and we are excited to support Origins in utilising the NEM blockchain technology which will be a great showcase globally. This also aligns with NEM’s aim to support social impact project like these across the region,” said Jason Lee, expansion director for Australia and New Zealand.

Lack of visibility within the garment sector is a global issue with consumers increasingly demanding brands to provide greater transparency. Many brands are unable to track where their garments are made and Jones believes she has a solution that will help other brands solve this issue.

Jones and her team will be in India in August to setup phase one of the Origins implementation plan, said the company in a press release. 

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