How is blockchain impacting the fashion industry

When people hear about blockchain the first thing that comes to mind is bitcoin. Somewhat true, bitcoin is on the blockchain, but the blockchain is not bitcoin. So what is blockchain?

Blockchain is a decentralized system that can record transactions or pieces of data which are stored on multiple operating systems, computers, etc. which in turn are linked through cryptography. The reason they’re decentralized is for anonymity but also for the distribution of power, less power under only one entity. If anything is changed in the blockchain the linked systems can confirm and communicate with each other and notice the inconsistency.

So what and how can it be applied in fashion?

Authenticity

Firstly, brands can use blockchain technology to track the garments back to the origin of the manufacturing to validate their authenticity.

For instance brands such as Louis Vuitton have been working with a technology start-up to track their supply chain. Since the rise of fake products from Asia and especially in online, luxury companies can benefit greatly by using blockchain to validate products originality. This, in turn, can be applied to expensive jewelry, diamonds, precious stones or paintings.

Sustainability

Sustainability is such a hot issue at the moment and consumers have started to inquire about products origins, fabrics, ethical working conditions and non-abuse of farm animals, especially referring to sheep that are treated poorly and sheered too often.

Supply Chain Management

Since tagging processes are not universal and the consistency from one supplier to another is difficult to implement, blockchain can offer tracking systems that are immutable- through the help of RFIDs and data storing.

Supply Chain Management is crucial for profits. The supply chain performance is measured by delivery times, item losses and quality. Blockchain technology can track every item at every step of the way so brands will not have the problem of tracking of worrying about lost items on cargo ships.

Besides building trust through an immutable system of links, blockchain also prevents fraud and ensures the validity of product origins. Luxury fashion brands should embrace the advantages this technology has to offer, which in turn will create further innovation.

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