Blockchain technology came into being as support for cryptocurrencies. Interestingly, this technology has evolved into a game-changing solution that has reshaped the functioning of diverse industrial domains and the fashion industry is no exception.
The Blockchain-infused approach was introduced into the fashion industry at the Shanghai Fashion Week, held in 2016. Here, the renowned apparel brand Babyghost, partnered with technology providers to create a Blockchain Apparel Technology that allowed all the stakeholders of the supply chain including customers, to validate the authenticity of the clothing manufactured by the brand. Small-sized chips and accessories were embedded within the clothing items so that one can scan and determine whether a specific garment was authentic.
Today, Blockchain has emerged as an effective solution that addresses myriad challenges encountered by the fashion industry and ushers in the much-needed transparency. Let’s explore its role in transforming the fashion industry!
Blockchain Technology in a Nutshell
Blockchain, a P2P (peer-to-peer) decentralized distributed ledger technology, guarantees that the records that are stored within cannot be destroyed or forged. The key objectives are to offer immutability, transparency, security of data, and evidence whether a specific data is safe and has not been altered. And, despite being known for its pivotal role in the origin of digital currencies, this technology is equally effective for non-crypto currency uses as well.
How does Blockchain Technology function?
Blockchain comprises a group of blocks that carry information. These blocks possess information concerning transactions like purchasing behavior, consumer profiles, the time and date of operations, etc. Each block consists of a unique set of data identifiable by a “HASH” code algorithm. Since it stores data sequentially, it can be considered as a database shared across a private/public network. A copy of this shared database is present with each authorized user. This arrangement prevents any malicious users from altering the database’s content. As this database/ledger is “append-only”, one can only add data but not carry out any modifications of the existing data. Therefore, the P2P network provided does not need the involvement of any regulating authority or intermediary. The transaction records stored on a Blockchain enable identifying the owner of a value item and via the ownership, subsequent transactions are transferred, creating a chain of ownerships/authenticity.
Fashion Industry Challenges
- There’s been a rise in the number of forged products and this hampers the brand value of a renowned business.
- Untimely delivery of products leads to loss of user advocacy and sours relationships with customers.
- The consumers, manufacturers, retailers as well as suppliers of the modern era demand transparency in their products.
- Today’s consumers need to be well versed in the history of products for validating their authenticity.
- The “conscious customers” question a brand on the environmental footprint of garments, textiles, footwear, etc.
Blockchain in the Fashion Industry: Implementation and Benefits
Check out how Blockchain resolves the numerous roadblocks encountered by the Fashion industry!
Bringing in Transparency within Supply Chains
Currently, most of the supply chains of the fashion industry lack transparency. This is because the supply chain for any fashion-related product involves several developmental stages that take place across a couple of countries around the globe. Therefore, fashion brands find it challenging to monitor the quality of raw materials that are used to manufacture their products. This roadblock can be effectively resolved by employing Blockchain technology. Blockchain’s NFC (Near-Field Communication) tags enable companies to track the entire product lifecycle and record the products’ journey globally.
As such, retailers are able to track the manufacturing process of apparel right from the consumption of raw materials to the creation of the end product which brings in complete transparency in the supply chain. Thanks to the transparency tracking methodologies, producers get useful insights into their value chain and can ensure the proper execution of processes such as handing off goods to third parties and labeling the end product.
Identifying the Authenticity of Goods
The Blockchain-empowered solutions are known for their distinct capability of creating a physical-digital link between the goods and their digital identities on a Blockchain. Usually, a serial number or a cryptographic seal plays the role of the physical identifier and links back to the “digital twin” of an individual product. This way, each time a product changes custody, the Blockchain records that change. For this reason, retailers can effortlessly identify counterfeit goods that miss the physical digital link as well as any attempt to divert goods in between. Moreover, the chain of custody on the Blockchain displays a record of the last party that has gained the products’ custodianship. As a result, it becomes obvious where the authentic product was diverted out and the counterfeit product was slipped in. This helps manufacturers protect their brands against counterfeiting.
The afore-mentioned process enables determining the authenticity and genuineness of a product for providing a digital authenticity certificate to every new product. For instance, Vacheron Constantin uses a Blockchain-backed validation mechanism for issuing a digital identification certificate to every new watch. Furthermore, each time a watch is serviced or transferred; this mechanism stores the records of the proceedings on a public ledger.
Improved Product Quality and Enhanced Efficiency
Blockchain integration enables brands to trace the weak links within their business operations. Hence, it’s easy to identify a production department that does not adhere to the defined quality standards or a supplier who provides defective materials. This enhances the efficiency of the manufacturing process and improves the overall quality of the end products.
Hassle-free Royalty Tracking
The Blockchain ecosystem facilitates seamless tracking of royalty payments. This is because it enables the designers to create unalterable evidence of the design created. It can also be utilized for building and tracking trademarks, license designs, royalty programs, and the sales generated through such design creations.
Transferring Ownership of Digital Apparel Securely
Digital clothing has garnered popularity in recent times as designers are providing consumers the option of purchasing digital apparel and the ability to digitally fit in it. Blockchain apparel technology enables transferring the ownership of digital clothing items. It also rules out the possibility of any issue concerning the stealing of product designs, thereby creating uniqueness and desirability.
Building Evidence of Use for Trademarks
Blockchain technology facilitates the creation of solid proofs of usage for trademarks. These trademarks save time and expenses for companies who have to undergo the hassles of renewing as well as securing a trademark when invalidity actions or disputes occur.
Optimizing Operational Costs
The Blockchain environment promises an effective supply chain, improves data management, and minimizes the risks of counterfeiting. It seamlessly integrates surfaces for reconciling data through operational as well as service lines. These advantages help in optimizing operational costs.
Blockchain Integration in the Fashion Industry: Tips on Execution
If your brand is facing challenges in proving your worker welfare standards to the industry or needs to authenticate the origin of raw materials/goods in the supply chain; it’s high time you should hire experienced Blockchain app development Company.
The first step is holding a discussion with Blockchain app developers on building a solution that would collect information from the right set of people. Next, instruct the developers to design a structure of information that will allow you to know the details of the raw materials/fabric/chemicals used. Once your objective is clear, go ahead and select the apt Blockchain platform that will suit your requirement as there are many of them with distinct functionalities. Thereafter, you need to begin with creating the frontend and UI of the application. Also, make sure that your Blockchain-powered app can be effortlessly used by all your stakeholders. In case of any assistance feel free to contact Biz4Solutions, an experienced Offshore software development Company in India offering Blockchain App development services.
Today’s fashion industry demands transparency and sustainability. So, the fashion brands that are unable to meet this requirement will find it difficult to fulfill the needs of a highly competitive market. And, Blockchain integration is the one-stop solution to maintain the industry standards for your fashion brand.