Baacode is the very clever moniker that outdoor sports apparel company, Icebreaker, have given their superfine merino garment traceability program. Much touted over the past few months, Baacode was officially launched this week. For as of this month new garments will sport a barcode number on their labelling. Customers can type this code into a website search engine and it will take them on a tour of the New Zealand high country sheep station (ranch) where the merino wool came from.
I am always on the lookout for ways to better understand the backstory of my purchases and the social and environmental impacts of producing them. The Baacode is helpful in that regard. While the FAQ states that you can "meet the farmers and the living conditions of the sheep, then follow the fibre to the factories that knit, dye, finish, cut, manufacture and ship the garments", the demo that they provide only allows you to meet the farmers. Cool none the less.
As Icebreaker put it in their media release: “Customers will see the living conditions of the sheep, meet the high country farmers who run the sheep stations, and follow the production process that turns premium merino fibre into Icebreaker's exceptional, performance-driven garments.” Icebreaker founder and CEO says, "For us, sustainability is about transparency and being able to show the whole design for the business, which starts with the growers and continues through every step of the supply chain."