Blockchain, a tool introduced to the fashion world in 2016, promises to revolutionize the industry. Let's explore its potential and how fashion brands can harness its power for transparency and innovation.
Firstly, what is blockchain?
Blockchain is essentially a digital, public ledger that can be used to record transactions and track data. It operates across many computers, so that the record cannot be altered afterwards, allowing the information stored to be secure.
What can blockchain be used for in the fashion industry?
Because blockchain allows for breach-proof record-keeping, it can be very effective in bringing transparency into the fashion world! The data it keeps track of can include materials, suppliers, manufacturing processes, and more. Here are a few examples of how blockchain can be used in the fashion industry:
Storing information about a garment’s supply chain and lifecycle, which can inform consumers about the sustainability of the garment
Creating a record of a product’s origin and journey to help customers avoid counterfeits and protect the designer’s intellectual property
Improving efficiency across the supply chain by creating a centralised digital network that manufacturers at each step of the process can access
Blockchain technology has been adopted by many luxury brands to communicate information about responsible sourcing practices and sustainability, while also providing details on authenticity of products.
One of the most prominent examples is Aura Blockchain Consortium, created by LVMH, Prada Group, and Cartier, which allows customers to directly authenticate luxury products and access detailed information about the item. Because each product has an uneditable digital record, it also generates more trust when purchasing second-hand luxury products, boosting the circular economy.
MCQ, by Alexander McQueen, also utilised blockchain technology to demonstrate its sustainability, with chips connecting the physical clothing with their digital counterpart.
Blockchain can also be incredibly useful to help sustainable fashion brands show proof of their eco-friendly, ethical practices. By including a product’s carbon footprint and details on the labour used to produce it, customers can then also make more informed decisions when purchasing the product! This also helps consumers better understand the journey it takes to create a single article of clothing, and may be able to inspire them to view clothing as more valuable, and keep it out of landfills for longer.