Fashion companies focused on Supply Chain Transparency and Blockchain

Transparency is a pressing issue in the fashion industry today. As a solution to this hot topic, blockchain in the fashion industry is being increasingly used to not only increase intellectual property protection for designers and companies but also to rapidly trace the entire journey of the finished product as it travels through the distribution chain right from the initial raw material stage up until it reaches the consumer, thereby giving rise to greater clarity about its origins for both brands and consumers alike. Companies are thus steadily working towards ensuring greater visibility and transparency of the workers in supply chains, the business relationships therein and publicly communicating about the initiatives they are taking to ensure sustainability across the supply chain.

In 2019, 200 fashion brands and retailers took part in the Fashion Transparency Index study which showed that sportwear and outdoor brands were leading the way on the transparency front. The 5 brands who scored the highest on their supply chain transparency are Adidas, Reebok, Patagonia, each scoring 64%, Esprit with 62%, and fast-fashion clothing chain H&M scoring 61%.

As of 2019, only 10 brands are disclosing information regarding where and who are they getting their supply of raw materials like viscose, wool, etc. The brands are:

ASOS

C&A

Esprit

Lululemon

Marks & Spencer

Patagonia

The North Face (VF Corporation)

Timberland (VF Corporation)

Vans (VF Corporation)

Wrangler (VF Corporation)

Brands who have shown the highest improvement since 2018 in their level of disclosure of supplier lists overall to the public are Dior (up by 22%), Sainsbury’s Tu Clothing (up by 21%), Nike (up by 21%), New Balance (up by 18%), and Marc Jacobs (up by 17%).

This statistic shows the willingness of consumers to buy sustainable fashion worldwide in 2018. In 2018, 60 percent of respondents stated that they would buy sustainable fashion if it were the same price as normal fashion.

A blockchain software company named Provenance collaborated with London-based designer Martine Jarlgaard to produce, using blockchain technology, the world’s first tracked garment. Consumers in store, after scanning the label on the clothing items, could witness the history of the product and be certain about the sustainability of the raw material sources.

Courtesy : KPMG

Luxury brands, for example LVMH which is the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, are also embracing this technology to track luxury goods and prove their authenticity. Louis Vuitton and Parfums Christian Dior are the first two brands to go on board with LVMH’s blockchain platform called ‘Aura.’

Courtesy : Louis Vuitton

In the highly competitive luxury fashion sphere, the main role of blockchain is to help brands and retailers connect with each other who wouldn’t otherwise disclose information to their rivals.

In the diamond industry too, brands like De Beers and small start-ups like Taylor & Hart are making use of blockchain ‘to help trace their supply chains from mine to shop floor.’ While De Beers developed Tracr, an open-source blockchain platform by collaborating with five other diamond manufacturers, Taylor & Hart united with blockchain start-up Everledger to validate the provenance of its diamonds.

Also, built upon blockchain technology in the form of a peer-to-peer ecosystem is Fashion Coin, which is designed in such a way that allows a consumer to directly get in touch with any member involved in the garment creation process like the designer, model, stylist, etc. and be a part of the journey and invest in the early stages of product designing, while being incentivized via a specially built token.

As a defense to fakery, e-commerce giant Alibaba as well is developing a blockchain application which allows buyers to trace the journey of the product from the factory to their front door by scanning it, thus knowing if it is an original piece or not. Similarly, very recently the payments giant, Mastercard, announced about its new blockchain-based product tracking solution which, it says, would ‘provide a clear record of traceability’ as it is ‘designed to contribute to consumer confidence and trust by creating awareness of the authenticity of the product.’

The impact that blockchain is set to have on the fashion industry is huge but for that to materialize, considerable investment is required to construct the systems to support it. The real-time access to streamlined product information that blockchain technology provides will inevitably enable retailers to scrutinize stock status as well as customer feedback. Eventually, because of the surge in the blockchain-based platforms, deals struck with middlemen can be expected to slowly come to a halt as there will be more transparent communication between manufacturers, brands and the consumers.

As technologies are becoming more and more advanced and data privacy issues becoming a sensational topic, growing concerns about the revelations of personal data and its subsequent use for marketing purposes, are but rampant. Thus, secure and guarded technology platforms should be built and consumers should be given extensive insights into the workings of blockchain to ensure its success in the future.

For more such engaging content, please follow us on Twitter @Cassiopeia_ltd @_FinancialFox and subscribe to our YouTube channel: Cassiopeia Services PLC

Fashion companies focused on Supply Chain Transparency and Blockchain

Transparency is a pressing issue in the fashion industry today. As a solution to this hot topic, blockchain in the fashion industry is being increasingly used to not only increase intellectual property protection for designers and companies but also to rapidly trace the entire journey of the finished product as it travels through the distribution chain right from the initial raw material stage up until it reaches the consumer, thereby giving rise to greater clarity about its origins for both brands and consumers alike. Companies are thus steadily working towards ensuring greater visibility and transparency of the workers in supply chains, the business relationships therein and publicly communicating about the initiatives they are taking to ensure sustainability across the supply chain.

In 2019, 200 fashion brands and retailers took part in the Fashion Transparency Index study which showed that sportwear and outdoor brands were leading the way on the transparency front. The 5 brands who scored the highest on their supply chain transparency are Adidas, Reebok, Patagonia, each scoring 64%, Esprit with 62%, and fast-fashion clothing chain H&M scoring 61%.

As of 2019, only 10 brands are disclosing information regarding where and who are they getting their supply of raw materials like viscose, wool, etc. The brands are:

ASOS

C&A

Esprit

Lululemon

Marks & Spencer

Patagonia

The North Face (VF Corporation)

Timberland (VF Corporation)

Vans (VF Corporation)

Wrangler (VF Corporation)

Brands who have shown the highest improvement since 2018 in their level of disclosure of supplier lists overall to the public are Dior (up by 22%), Sainsbury’s Tu Clothing (up by 21%), Nike (up by 21%), New Balance (up by 18%), and Marc Jacobs (up by 17%).

This statistic shows the willingness of consumers to buy sustainable fashion worldwide in 2018. In 2018, 60 percent of respondents stated that they would buy sustainable fashion if it were the same price as normal fashion.

A blockchain software company named Provenance collaborated with London-based designer Martine Jarlgaard to produce, using blockchain technology, the world’s first tracked garment. Consumers in store, after scanning the label on the clothing items, could witness the history of the product and be certain about the sustainability of the raw material sources.

Courtesy : KPMG

Luxury brands, for example LVMH which is the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, are also embracing this technology to track luxury goods and prove their authenticity. Louis Vuitton and Parfums Christian Dior are the first two brands to go on board with LVMH’s blockchain platform called ‘Aura.’

Courtesy : Louis Vuitton

In the highly competitive luxury fashion sphere, the main role of blockchain is to help brands and retailers connect with each other who wouldn’t otherwise disclose information to their rivals.

In the diamond industry too, brands like De Beers and small start-ups like Taylor & Hart are making use of blockchain ‘to help trace their supply chains from mine to shop floor.’ While De Beers developed Tracr, an open-source blockchain platform by collaborating with five other diamond manufacturers, Taylor & Hart united with blockchain start-up Everledger to validate the provenance of its diamonds.

Also, built upon blockchain technology in the form of a peer-to-peer ecosystem is Fashion Coin, which is designed in such a way that allows a consumer to directly get in touch with any member involved in the garment creation process like the designer, model, stylist, etc. and be a part of the journey and invest in the early stages of product designing, while being incentivized via a specially built token.

As a defense to fakery, e-commerce giant Alibaba as well is developing a blockchain application which allows buyers to trace the journey of the product from the factory to their front door by scanning it, thus knowing if it is an original piece or not. Similarly, very recently the payments giant, Mastercard, announced about its new blockchain-based product tracking solution which, it says, would ‘provide a clear record of traceability’ as it is ‘designed to contribute to consumer confidence and trust by creating awareness of the authenticity of the product.’

The impact that blockchain is set to have on the fashion industry is huge but for that to materialize, considerable investment is required to construct the systems to support it. The real-time access to streamlined product information that blockchain technology provides will inevitably enable retailers to scrutinize stock status as well as customer feedback. Eventually, because of the surge in the blockchain-based platforms, deals struck with middlemen can be expected to slowly come to a halt as there will be more transparent communication between manufacturers, brands and the consumers.

As technologies are becoming more and more advanced and data privacy issues becoming a sensational topic, growing concerns about the revelations of personal data and its subsequent use for marketing purposes, are but rampant. Thus, secure and guarded technology platforms should be built and consumers should be given extensive insights into the workings of blockchain to ensure its success in the future.

For more such engaging content, please follow us on Twitter @Cassiopeia_ltd @_FinancialFox and subscribe to our YouTube channel: Cassiopeia Services PLC

Implementing blockchain into the supply chain: More ethics, sustainability and better consumer…

Implementing blockchain into the supply chain: More ethics, sustainability and better consumer protection

As the blockchain revolution keeps gathering momentum around the world, different industries are deploying the technology to challenge current ways of operating and improve standards.

One of these industries is the logistics sector, and its long, multi-layered supply chains. A supply chain encompasses many levels, ranging from manufacturing to consumer use and everything in between.

The current globalised manufacturing system implies that these typically complex supply chains actually surpass geographical boundaries, sometimes intercontinentally. This results in a lack of transparency in the current model. Consumers have limited knowledge and understanding of the manufacturing process, allowing for flaws and gaps to go unnoticed by the public eye.

The solution? Blockchain, of course.

Blockchain technology has the ability to store a huge amount of data on an open, secure and accurate platform. The key features of blockchain technology could help revolutionise supply chain technologies.

A decentralised digital ledger network can record, track, verify and share each and every element of all the assets in one single network, which is open to public access. It can pull together links all along the chain, from raw material providers right up to retailers. The records are kept in a digital central system, as opposed to leaving it up to each participant to store data in their own isolated system.

The case for blockchain in Fashion

Since all kinds of information can be included in a blockchain-powered supply chain, companies’ unethical practices can be recorded and exposed. The fashion industry, for example, which is loaded with cash and celebrity promotion, is also known for some complacency over human and labour rights abuse.

Open information means that the culture of sweatshops, child labour, exploitation and human rights breaches could be close to an end, as a result of increased accountability for brands engaging in and profiting from it.

On top of that, a blockchain-based system would mean that counterfeit products could be traced back to origin and reduce incidence of fraudulent products. To verify goods’ provenance, the blockchain system authenticates and validates their authenticity, or any diversion from its original destination.

The pharma industry is also said to be exploring aspects of this technology . Drug fraud is indeed a concern, with figures showing that 10 percent of all pharmaceutical products around the world are fake — number that can jump to 70 percent in some countries. Fraudulent pharmaceuticals set a dangerous health precedent, so the use of blockchain in this industry could not only be revolutionary, but life-saving.

In 2017, London-based designer Martine Jarlgaard partnered with blockchain company Provenance to track the journey of all material through the supply chain. Each garment in her collection had a digital token, containing location, content and timestamps presented to consumers. Provenance tracked alpaca fleece from the moment of shearing on the farm, through to spinning, knitting, and finishing in Martine Jarlgaard’s London studio.

Matthew Drinkwater, head of the Fashion Innovation Agency at London College of Fashion, who partnered with Martine to give life to the project, said that their goal was to increase consumers’ confidence: “What we’re looking to create is a new protocol and standard for giving consumers confidence in what they’re buying. The fact that this is blockchain-verified will mean it’s a product that they can believe in. That’s where there should be a movement towards, and as the technology evolves, we’ll see the final part of the process become even more transparent and visible for consumers.”

“Full transparency and traceability becomes a stamp of approval allowing consumers to make informed choices with no extra effort,” says Martine.

Blockchain in the food industry

Similarly, the food industry can also enjoy great benefits from blockchain-powered supply chains. Until recently, it had been incredibly difficult for consumers to be sure of the origin of their food, with few mechanisms in place to check on food companies’ practices.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), one in 10 people fall ill from contaminated food every year. Food fraud is indeed a problem, and in many cases it arises from flaws with the supply network.

A blockchain-based supply chain had a positive impact on farmers and raw material producers, ensuring corporate responsibility from wealthy food retailers. It also benefits the Fairtrade culture, as it allows for price disclosure, enabling consumers to check for any exploitation of small-scale producers in favour of big company profits, verifying that Fairtrade standards have been respected.

The benefits of blockchain

Ø Transparency: all information available made public
Ø Greater Scalability: any number of participants can participate in the network
Ø Security: open system helps eliminate malpractices and irregularities

Blockchain can increase the efficiency and transparency of any supply chain, creating a positive impact at every step from manufacturing to delivery. It is important, though, that this information is available for consumers so that they are fully aware of the unethical practices that companies could be held to account over. Consumers ultimately have the upper hand in the market and can make informed choices about a brand or purchase.