Blockchain is a decentralized, distributed ledger that stores transactions sequentially. It is essentially a database that is shared across a public or private network. This database only allows you to add to it but not modify anything after it is posted. It can provide a peer-to-peer network that does not involve any intermediaries or governing authorities. There are many things blockchain technology can be used for. It can build a chain of ownership or authenticity because its data can not be changed or corrupted. This provides a totally transparent and fraud protected system.
Relevance in the Fashion Industry
The fashion industry is overcome with fraudulent products and unethical supply chain practices. Transparency in fashion is practically non-existent. Many people do not know where the products they are buying truly come from or what they are actually made of. Blockchain could allow customers to review every step of the production process. This will allow the industry to be transparent, authentic and ethical. It will also allow consumers a more personalized experience. Blockchain will also be a way of dealing with the surplus of counterfeit products.
Supply Chain Transparency
Blockchain can create a sustainable and transparent supply chain. With blockchain, brands can create a digital token attached to each garment that creates a digital history of each taken in the production process. Being able to record each step, location, and times of a product will open a variety of new products to brands in consumers. This will allow brands to ensure their suppliers are actually maintaining ethical practices. Suppliers will be unable to change any unethical practice. It will also customers more insight into what they are purchasing.
With the implementation of a transparent supply chain, it will be very easy to ensure that products purchased are authentic. Blockchain creates a unique digital ID to each product that cannot be altered or replicated thus preventing any duplication. This will also allow brands to track and authenticate their products at each step of the production process. Blockchain will also make it easier for a customer to resell their product to another customer and verify that the product is legit. With an unmodifiable tracking history, customers are always assured about the quality of the item they are purchasing.
Blockchain also opens up possibilities for an industry where restocking requests can be automated. With the pathway open between retailers, brands, and manufacturers, it can be easy to track when a restock will be needed, and sent straight to the production floor. This is a completely new idea in the industry. Blockchain will also allow customer feedback to be communicated back to brands regarding adjustments and colors. These then can be automatically sent to manufacturers when its time to restock.
Shopper experience, in-store and post-purchase, are both something that can change drastically from Blockchain. With smart tags, customers will be able to scan the tag of their garment and see a variety of details. This can include information about where the garment was made to where the materials come from to why it would be a great purchase. Information about how to recycle the product could also be included on this tag. This also opens up an opportunity for secure data sharing. Blockchain can prevent any data used in a transaction from being resold by an unauthorized entity. Also opening up the possibility of secure data collection from the clothes you buy. With a smart tag, Blockchain can collect data about the frequency of use, location, and the environment with the permission of the wearer.
Blockchain opens up an endless amount of possibilities from its secure decentralized database. It will allow the future of the industry to be completely transparent further pushing sustainability. It will also push oneness in the industry, the only way to ensure that ethical practices will become the norm. These factors will create a greater experience overall for consumers and brands.