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Blockchain and Sustainability in Fashion

How often do you ponder over the amount of work and the people involved behind a product you buy? The most common answer would be seldom. From marketing gimmicks to pricing, everything that attracts customer to invest in a product, nothing mentions where the investment goes to. People also fall prey to spurious and cheap imitations of big brands, thanks to piracy. This is where blockchain technology comes to your rescue.

Blockchain Technology- A Move Towards Ethical Sourcing

With the rise in cryptocurrency, the term ‘Blockchain Technology’ came into existence. Its main purpose was to forbid tampering of digital transactions by creating a decentralized, alter proof record. Available to be controlled by different parties, it offers full transparency to participants when it comes to activity logs.

The same technology concept, when applied to retail and supply chain, creates the base for ethical business. Fashion apparel industry, with an estimated global turnover of 3 trillion USD in 2011, it shows no signs of slowing down in near future.[1] Blockchain technology is revolutionizing the way in which fashion industry can impact the world. Essentially it helps customers to track their fashion product back to its origin and developmental process.

Do You Know What Goes into Your Apparel?

Most fashion products can be traced back to a humble origin in rural landscape, where farmers toil everyday to grow raw material. They survive on hand to mouth on daily basis and are paid a marginal amount.

The raw material is then processed and converted into finished fashion products by skillful workers at different levels. The finished good is then branded and supplied to retail outlets.

But not many businesses allow customers the access to the supply chain journey. Keeping the insight to suppliers and manufacturers opaque meant competitive advantage before the rise of conscious shoppers.

Awareness of customers all around the world and their inclination towards sustainable fashion mandates supply chain transparency. Not only does is allow smart buyers to buy authentic apparel made up unadulterated raw material, it also allows them to contribute directly towards the hands behind it.

Changing Perception of Fashion Business

Decentralized manufacturing processes have altered the perception of fashion industry. Business that have risen above conventional norms and involve customers in their journey from scratch are setting benchmarks as sustainable brands.

Organic fashion buyers who are conscious about the ways in which their choices can give back to people and nature, can buy fashion at ease- thanks to blockchain technology.

Sustainable apparel supply chains are set to galore using technology like Credible® which help to show their sustainability efforts. Blockchain based Track and Trace solutions allow easy traceability and inventory management for customers and fashion businesses respectively. They provide a QR code on an organic apparel, which can be scanned to have a virtual tour of the journey of the product.

While is technology works towards bridging the gap between customers and retail sourcing, it is creating unique stories for each piece of garment purchased. Indelible data keeps the authenticity of a product intact and acts as selling point for consumers who care about social responsibility.

Fashion and Environment

Redefining operational systems of fashion business by incorporating Emission Trading Scheme (developed by Energy Blockchain Labs, China in 2016), results in a transparent emission link system. Apparel industry contributes 10% of the total carbon emissions in the world[2].

As responsible buyers, you can trace the carbon emission of cloth-making process and understand its environmental impact.This would force fashion lines to adopt manufacturing processes to reduce carbon emissions.[3]

Who knew that a technology designed to keep virtual payments safe, would find such extensive applications in creating sustainable fashion! This is truly transforming the conventional world of fashion into fashion with a purpose.


[1]https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/10/4/1105/htm

[2]https://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/files/file/cotton_carbon_emission.pdf

[3]https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/10/4/1105/htm

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