The global textiles industry is rapidly adopting blockchain technology. Earlier this year, France-based Carrefour kicked off a pilot for its textiles products, with a track-and-trace project comprising 450 product lines. The initiative is a part of the retail giant’s 2030 strategy to ensure all of its premium products are sustainable and traceable.
Elsewhere in Europe, Denim Deal is using the Aware blockchain solution to trace recycled material used in jeans. German workwear company Kaya & Kato has taken IBM’s blockchain solution to implement product traceability.[i]
Blockchain is a digital ledger that connects all stakeholders in a product’s value chain – from farmers to design houses, suppliers, manufacturers, logistic players, retail, banks, and consumers. Each of these stakeholders constitutes a block on a digital platform. This offers end-to-end visibility across the supply chain offering a variety of benefits to your business.
Here are 4 colossal advantages of blockchain.
Blockchain provides data across the entire supply chain from conceptualization to final product that gives stakeholders access to clear and unambiguous interactions, manufacturing practices, IPR protection, customer-centric logistics, and retail support. For example, Carrefour’s customers for its exclusive TEX line can track the place and date of production, product composition, method of cultivation, etc.[ii]
Blockchain enables all stakeholders to be aware of and validate transactions including documents. While not every player takes part, they are empowered to participate in the validation process and take quicker decisions. Once validated, each node in the “block” keeps a copy of the transaction record.
Has your T-shirt been made using sustainable cotton? Any company can claim to do so but with blockchain, authentication is possible as it provides access to relevant certificates that can be tagged to products. This enables companies to justify, for example, premium pricing or assure an investor that they are not using slave labor. Also, with the focus on sustainability, blockchain offers big brands the wherewithal to attain these goals lending credibility to their business.
Brand protection & customer trust
In a competitive world, it takes a lot to protect your brand identity. This can be eroded by counterfeit products and non-transparent transactions that affect customer trust. Blockchain is a tool to prevent this by protecting your business against reputational risk. This lends more business credibility and sustains investor interest.
In textiles and fashion domains, blockchain has enabled the creation of links between goods and digital identities. It works by creating a “digital twin” of the physical business and enables tracking it across the supply chain. Now, should a physical-digital link be missing, a stakeholder can flag the issue which may indicate the presence of counterfeit goods.
Blockchain gives your business data immutability of data, even as it helps you trace and track your products, and generate valuable customer trust.
At JLX Studio, we have worked with leading worked corporates, NGOs, and eponymous brand names and helped them to implement successful product design strategies. We now want to up their game and create class-leading templates of transparency and ethics. So in 2020, we tied up with Bangalore-based Dhiway to offer blockchain to our customers in India and overseas. We believe we are part of a handful of players in India to adopt this technology to enhance our ongoing commitment to our stakeholders.