Benefits for the fashion industry from Blockchain applications

6 September 2019

Online shopping has opened a world of possibilities, especially for top-notch fashion firms. With a clear and easy user journey on the websites, and fair refund policies in place, online purchases of outfits and fashion accessories became more and more popular. You might already see how this has to do with Blockchain applications.

Although this meant an exponential growth in terms of profit for the fashion industry, it also exposed all companies to being swindled of their authenticity because of a rising counterfeit products market: items with the exact same appearance as their original counterpart, but made with cheap textiles, badly sewn, with fake trademarks, without the customer noticing these small details. On top of that, there is an ethical side of the whole thing we can’t discuss now because of its complexity, but it is involved in what Blockchain can do for the fashion industry.

As a distributed ledger technology, Blockchain can be very useful to track every single transaction from raw material suppliers to in-store or online sellers, so both the firm and the client will be able to follow the whole journey of the clothes they are buying, because when everything is recorded on a ledger and it can’t be manipulated, it is impossible to introduce any counterfeit products on the market.

Why the fashion industry is turning to Blockchain

We mostly know Blockchain because it is used to validate cryptocurrencies transactions, but the variety of sectors that can benefit from this technology is very broad.

The fashion industry, in particular, can benefit from Blockchain in more than one way: first of all, it can connect brands and retailers in a way that has no precedents thanks to a shared database of manufacturers around the world recognised as ethical and raw materials sources.

On a Blockchain ledger, nothing can be manipulated or deleted, so if a third-party company introduces a counterfeit item on the ledger, but the records in possession of the manufacturer do not match, it is immediately recognised.

Fashion brands using Blockchain

It sounds great! Blockchain can really change the fashion industry for good. However, is its implementation feasible on a short-medium run? Are there any fashion brands that could prove us that Blockchain can actually work?

The answer is: yes, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior have already implemented a blockchain in their production chain.

LVMH, the company holding those two brands, created the venture AURA on JP Morgan’s platform based on the Ethereum Blockchain, and it effectively proves the authenticity of their items, traces the origins of the materials, and create a storyline for every single piece of fashion that touches the shelves of the stores.

Not only that: AURA also keeps track of those who buy such items, so in case they end up on the second-hand goods market, buyers can also find information on previous owners.

Christian Dior is also using AURA to track the origins of their raw materials and the laboratories where the perfumes were manufactured.

LVMH is planning to extend the use of AURA to other owned brands, but the main goal is still creating a database and offer the AURA platform as a white-label service.

The project is very interesting, and the fashion industry can really benefit from Blockchain.

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