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Kappahl launches pilot with digital product passports together with Trace4Value

January 22 2024

By 2030, so-called digital product passports will be mandatory for textiles in the EU. This means that consumers will be able to access information about products’ climate footprint and sustainability data in order to make informed choices. Kappahl is already participating in a pilot project to test the product passports and to investigate what the new system will look like, what data needs to be collected and how it can be presented to customers.

Starting in January, Kappahl’s customers who buy the “Göran” children’s trousers or “Olle” children’s sweater from the spring collection of Minories online will be able to access sustainability data on materials, suppliers, eco-labelling and how the garments can be circulated.

– Kappahl wants to be a pioneer when it comes to sustainability and transparency in fashion and is part of a pilot project on the development of digital product passports in textiles initiated by Trace4Value. We can now show our customers a first version of the digital product passport in textiles, all the way from production to sales, says Sandra Roos, Vice President Sustainability at Kappahl.

Access to product information

The background to the introduction of digital product passports (DPP)  is the need for access to product information throughout the value chain, i.e. between all actors involved in the product’s life cycle from manufacturing all the way to the customer, reuse and recycling. This applies to producers, retailers, consumers or repairers. The introduction of digital product passports is part of the EU’s so-called Green Deal and is included in the so-called Ecodesign Directive for sustainable products. The regulations will require that almost all products placed on the European market have a product passport that will provide reliable sustainability data down to the smallest component – all to increase traceability and facilitate a circular economy. Textiles, electronics and batteries are the first product areas to be introduced. 

– Today, the availability of information about production, materials and content for products such as clothing and electronics is almost non-existent. This complicates the maintenance, reuse, repair and recycling of products. The digital product passports enable a more transparent value chain for customers and stakeholders in the circular chain. Consumers will have access to information that not only educates them about the product, but also provides insights into how to repair and recycle it,” says Jenny Wärn, Implementation Manager, Trustrace.

Prepare for future legislation

The test will provide Kappahl and the other project partners with valuable input on how the product passports work for customers, as well as being part of identifying the necessary data and preparing the business and the value chain for DPP and future legislation.

– The introduction of digital product passports means a major change for the industry. We will not solve it on our own, but must work together and learn together. The Trace4Value project is extremely valuable to us as a fashion company and we are now very curious about how the passports will be received by customers and what knowledge the pilot will give us, Sandra Roos concludes.

Digital Product Passports (DPP)

Digital Product Passports are digital representations of physical products that display sustainability data throughout the product’s lifecycle. For example, a digital product passport can provide information about a product’s origin, composition, carbon footprint, recyclability and reparability. In addition, there is the opportunity to clarify the product’s sustainability performance with a third-party certified ecolabel, as well as how the product is handled when it is fully consumed. Increased information sharing about products and between actors in value chains will contribute to increased resource efficiency and circular economy. DPPs are important tools for a circular economy because companies get the opportunity to verify, manage and make the sustainability of products visible.

The implementation of digital product passports takes place within the framework of the EU’s new eco-design legislation, which aims to require more sustainable products. Individual legislation for different product groups will be in place in 2025 at the earliest. When the digital product passports are in place and fully functional, information should be accessible by scanning an information carrier on the product, such as a QR code that is specific to the product.

More about the project

The pilot project on the digital product passports is a sub-project of Trace4Value and is led by Trustrace.  The project started in the spring of 2022 and will run throughout 2024 and be evaluated. In addition to Kappahl, GS1 Sweden, SIS, TrusTrace, Marimekko, Rudholm Group, Circularista, TexRoad Foundation and Trimco Group are participating in the project.