Ensuring the Authenticity of Top-Quality Apparel Despite Widespread Counterfeiting

counterfeit goods road sign illustration

 (DGIwire) — For most of us, shopping for luxury items is an infrequent but special treat. There are times when a 800-count Egyptian cotton set of linens, say, just makes life worth living.

When purchasing pricier items, we want them to be as authentic as their price tags would suggest. There’s nothing more frustrating than paying hard-earned money for a cashmere sweater or a designer garment and then finding that it has not the feel, the look, the durability of the real thing.

Those who think they can always trust labels should think again: clever counterfeiters can easily forge them. For those spending top dollar, there ought to be a reliable way to ensure that what’s purchased is authentic.

Applied DNA Sciences, an innovative biotech company based in Stony Brook, NY, agrees—and is providing one such reliable way. The company uses botanical DNA as a forensic tool to address the challenges of brand protection and theft in a variety of situations and products. The foundation for their marking and tracking products is an ingredient called SigNature® DNA composed of full double-stranded plant DNA.

Applied DNA Sciences recently formed an alliance with Supima, the main industry association for growers of upscale American Pima cotton, to harness one version of its platform, called SigNature T, to protect cotton from counterfeiting and dilution. SigNature T empowers customers to be able to detect the difference between authentic and fake cotton at each major step of production, from ginning through to finished product.

Last November, the product was used to mark 50,000,000 kg of American Pima cotton, all of which may be authenticated at stores or elsewhere along the supply route.

“SigNature T marks survive despite aggressive processing, industrial washing and other harsh treatments and stresses,” explains Dr. James A. Hayward, President and CEO of Applied DNA Sciences. “Unlike other security solutions, our product delivers indelible markings every time.

“Today, counterfeiters have become increasingly sophisticated in creating fakes, and fake labels,” Dr. Hayward adds. “The rise in counterfeit cotton threatens the integrity and worldwide sales of the fiber. It also threatens intellectual property such as logos, labels and brands. This alarming trend is the main reason the textile industry has become interested in employing Applied DNA’s technology.”

DNA marking has become the preferred choice for some large textile companies because it is relatively inexpensive, cannot be copied, is extremely versatile, provides forensic level authentication and does not affect functionality.

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