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Originally posted 2014-06-12 11:00:19.
By Christina Severino | amdlawgroup.com
The prevalence of counterfeit fashion has increasingly threatened the integrity and presence of luxury brands on a global stage. For every misspelled logo, clumsy stich or questionable cashmere sweater, profits collected from these counterfeits do more than fool the purchaser; they undermine the ingenuity of the original brand and potentially fund other criminal conduct that may go undiscovered.
However, there is an emerging technique available which may assist luxury brands in the fight against counterfeiting. Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. (APDN) based in Stony Brook, New York, offers services that involve the use of DNA-based anti-counterfeiting technology and product authentication. Namely, APDN’s “FiberTyping,” is a technique that verifies whether products made with Extra Long Staple (ELS) Cotton are not combined or replaced in finished textile and apparel products. Examples of ELS Cotton include: Egyptian Giza, Peruvian, and American Pima. This “FiberTyping” technique allows APDN to either test unprocessed fabrics or finished products, in order to determine whether the product contains traces of G. Barbadense (ELS) or G. Hirsutum (Upland) or both. ELS Cotton is generally considered to have higher quality and value than Upland Cotton since Upland Cotton fibers tend to be shorter than ELS fibers. At first blush, $500 per test may seem steep. However, brand protection and integrity are invaluable in an ever-expanding and competitive global fashion marketplace.
In addition, APDN offers another valuable service, “SigNature.” Use of this technique enables APDN to essentially create an individual “SigNature” DNA mark on the product for protection. This mark serves as the product’s invisible fingerprint, embedded on a molecular level within its fibers. The technique involves isolation of double-stranded plant-based DNA. Next, an encryption process is used that was specifically developed by APDN in order to guard against any attempts to decode it. Replication is then used to create multiple strands to test for authentication of the product later if needed for auditing purposes. According to APDN, each “SigNature” DNA mark, “will support at least ten authentications within its lifetime.”
The use of these and similar techniques are unique in that the lifespan of DNA molecules is eternal, and the molecular “fingerprint” of the brand will follow the product forever. Given the risks involved in expanding marketing, production, and sales abroad, these DNA marks appear to be the next cutting-edge trend in the fashion industry and beyond.
Image Credit: www.darkstarfashion.com