World Footwear


Martina Schiuma from The ID Factory: technology is key to accelerate change

Apr 8, 2024 Italy
Martina Schiuma from The ID Factory: technology is key to accelerate change
We spoke to Martina Schiuma, head of sustainability at the platform The ID Factory, to find out more about their solution for fashion brands and retailers to improve supply chain transparency and traceability. In the end, we discussed where the fashion industry is on its journey towards a sustainable future

After working at Yoox Net-A-Porter as a specialist supporting the implementation of the ‘Infinity’ circularity strategy, Martina Schiuma joined The ID Factory to continue promoting the use of technology to enable fashion to become circular. When it comes to the company’s purpose of “digitising fashion with a wider purpose to make it more transparent and traceable”, “circularity is not clearly stated”, she insists, but it’s definitely at the core.

The ID Factory is a “supply chain traceability platform” that enables companies and retailers in the fashion and luxury industries to trace the components, materials and processes of apparel, footwear and accessories. It does this by collecting data and linking every process and every material at every stage of production to every supplier and stakeholder involved in that supply chain. But it goes even further, enabling a “physical tag to be attached to the materials that make up the finished product”.

On the other hand, at the end of the traceability journey is the digital product passport. “Once we’ve linked all the materials throughout the entire process to their respective stakeholders and owners”, it’s possible to add a “final tag that can communicate all this information directly”. “We believe that this solution speaks to the customer”, but it’s also “a way for brands to raise awareness of the sustainability credentials of the product”.

But this is only the beginning. The ID Factory’s Sustainability Head believes that this solution “will be part of a bigger perspective”, where the digital identity information of the product will not only be made available to customers and public authorities, but will also play an important role in activities such as “verifying the export information of a product” and in the post-life of products through activities such as “tacking back, sorting or recycling”.


However, Martina is quick to point out that in a macro context where the digital product passport is becoming a buzzword, it alone won’t provide a solution to the circular economy and business model. “We need all the different partners to be involved immediately, and if we fail to involve the raw material suppliers and producers in this process,  the raw material accounts for over 80% of the environmental impact of the product”. For this reason, “traceability is a key activity that needs to be done to engage all stakeholders in the fashion sector at the same time”.

And regulators play an important role, as in most cases, “companies are waiting for new regulations to be enforced” before they start acting. Only a few “are pushing forward their visions” and becoming pioneers. So, “the process of achieving a circular economy is still very far”.


“I am absolutely convinced that we cannot think about a circular transition and a sustainable transition if we do not use technology as a tool to leverage the existing capabilities that we have and scale”, she continues. “Technology is not the solution, but it represents a fundamental asset for scaling the solution and bringing a faster change”, as it can help us “meet all these different players that speak together the same language and share the same purpose”.


Looking at the fashion ecosystem as a whole, we go back to the beginning. “Everything is in the supply chain”, especially at the origin of a product. That’s where most of the activities “that need to be carried out to enable real change” are, and where there is still very little transparency. “We need to engage all these actors, not to offset the impact, but to act more responsibly”, she urges.

Image Credits: Art by Sofia Pádua