Why Blockchain Technology is Essential for Sustainable Fashion Industry

Blockchain Technology

The blockchain technology is not new for us. Whenever you talk about this technology the first thing which comes into mind is “Bitcoin”. As this technology is supporting all financial transaction of this virtual currency which became hot in past few years. Due to its exclusive feature of virtual payments, the blockchain technology became equally popular in other sectors too. As the said feature of payment overcome the lots of hassle of the businessmen, financial institutions etc.

What is Blockchain Technology?

The blockchain technology was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in year 2009. As described earlier, it was made to facilitate the users of Bitcoin to make and receive payments through this technology. By using this technology, the users can make payments without involving any central bank or other financial intuition. With the passage of time, the blockchain technology is also using for other businesses and cryptocurrencies for virtual payments purpose.

In simple language, we can say it’s a set of databases which are connected with each other. And whenever, the user enters information in any database. It will update rest of the connected relevant databases automatically which are stored in different hard drives around the globe. There is no centralized storage in blockchain technology. And the data normally stores into different hard drives and servers of different countries or cities. So, the probability of data hacking is almost zero in this case of data storage. The synchronization process of the databases normally works through internet. The set of databases are called blocks and the link between these blocks is called chain. So, this is how the blockchain technology works and facilitating its users all over the world.

The scope and usage of blockchain technology is spreading in other industries too. There are so many industries like food, transportation, manufacturing and services where you can see successful implementation of this technology. This flexible technology not only improves the way of working in the said industries. Along with that it is also eliminated so many steps of documentations or complex file system through unique digitizing system. As the usage of digital identification of product/services, shipment tracking and smart contracts are proves of success of this technology.

Blockchain Technology in Fashion Industry:

As we discussed in our number of previous articles that sustainable practices are the need of present era. And the transparency of manufacturing and supply chain in fashion industry is a main ingredient for sustainable process. The blockchain technology also supports the fashion players in their sustainable product or service goal. Through this technology, the retailer can easily track its goods any time from manufacturing facility to the warehouse. Not only this, they can also track it further distribution means from warehouse to their point of sale. And the same information is also available for the end consumer to know better about life-story of their favorite brand.

There is no doubt that most of the famous brands are really worried about the counterfeiting of their hot articles. There are number of organized set ups which are totally dependent upon these type of illegal activities. They keep an eye on the upcoming range of the famous brands. And share the same material with their manufacturers for copy purpose. Their manufacturing counterpart copies the sent articles and dispatches the bulk quantity to them through swift means (by air). As these products are not only unethical but also not conforms the optimum quality standards. Besides brands, even consumer are also confuse during purchase that whether they are buying original or not? In blockchain technology, a consumer can easily access the complete information about the selected garment. So, it gives them a confident and proper verification that they are buying original brand owned product.

Why Blockchain Technology in Fashion Industry?

There some other tracking systems too exist into the market which can do the same job effectively. So, the question is why we need another new technology for the same purpose? Actually, the distinguish thing in blockchain technology is that the data can’t be altered or changed later on. Once the information is entered and stored then it would remain intact for end consumer in its original form. Like we described earlier, the information is stored in different block forms which are linked and stored in different locations. Since there is no central body involves into this so no one has the rights to alter the original information. So, the supplier or retailer can’t change the same later on. Further, the history log of all entries is also generating automatically and normally accessible to relevant entities for review.

Furthermore, the companies are also more curious to know the after buying feedback or experience of their loyal consumers. The surveys and researches are not the only medium to make decision of new or customized products. So, the fashion companies are now making contracts with tech companies to help them in this category. The famous outdoor apparel company “L.L.Bean” is taking help from Loomia’s blockchain technology for this. As Loomia will share the client’s data to L.L.Bean so that they could develop a better product for its clients. Here, we can’t ignore Martine Jarlgaard and Babyghost who considered and adopted this technology in year 2017. And the main motive behind this adoption was just to educate their consumer about the product manufacturing and its transportation. And there is no doubt; such transparency initiative through technology by these brands gives more confidence/loyalty in their consumers.

Our Input and Analysis:

The blockchain technology was originally made for virtual currency (Bitcoin). Till to date, the most of the countries of the world didn’t regulate this type of virtual currency. There is still need to do so many steps like how to certify the providers and platforms of this currency. If we see its application in fashion industry then it’s not fully conform the requirements of this industry. This is why, the apparel companies were just attracted and adopted this technology a few before (year 2017). And there are so many things which need to transform in the current technology according to their own industry. And for this the companies have to hire the developers to make the application according to their process. So, the main element is cost, which is really important when you are going to adopt this new technology.

Furthermore, if this technology is adopt by the most of the organizations. Then the other challenges would also arise of data protections, secrecy etc. Although, theoretically it is proved that the data hacking is not possible. Even then there is need to do certain steps and define protocols about the data protections. Because, before going into massive usage of this technology, the question regarding data protection may be arise. As there should be any organization who could take the responsibility of data protection. Secondly, the cost element will also be a main barrier in successful adoption. If this technology is not cost effective then chances of success or overall potential may be less than expectations. So, the transformation process and especially the running-cost of blockchain technology should be as cheap as possible. And after this, there is a chance that the scope and potential of this technology would be enhanced.

Author: admin

Fakhar is a textile professional with more than 15 years of experience in the fields of Marketing, Merchandising, Sourcing, Liaison, Training & Development, Industrial Relations. Being a keen observer, he constantly tracks the textile innovations and other notable events. And whatever he thinks, is interesting and informative, share the same along with his own understanding and opinion. He loves book reading, cricket and chess.

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