Blockchain: Transforming the Fashion Industry – Part II

In part I of this article “Blockchain: Transforming the Fashion Industry – Part I” we discussed the techniques and values of the new technology.  We continue by discussing supply chain management via Blockchain and IP protection.

Supply Chain Management

Blockchains new technologies can radically change the way apparel is produced, warehoused and delivered: filling the gaps in reliability; enabling transparency in the supply chain management.

This new technology overcomes these problems by establishing a chain of transactions. For each virtual or physical good, there will be a complete list of transactions, leading all the way to the origin of an item (and its component parts).  Data cannot be controlled or manipulated by a single party.

Whether it is the supply of raw materials or shipment to the end consumer, the supply chain industry is still rife with inefficiencies and mismanagement. The use of blockchain, however, will make practices less opaque. Suppliers trying to alter any record will be identified immediately.

By the use of blockchains networks, big and small apparel brands have easier transition points.  This means automation and scalability will not be limited to direct suppliers and geographical locations.  More versatility is achieved.

Blockchain will help to eliminate human error, which in turn will minimize delays and reduces costs.

Using blockchain along with Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies such as RFID (Radio-frequency identification), raw materials can be tracked from their source to the production factory all the way to finished products.  Distribution networks then deliver these to the retailers. The origin of each item can be tracked, and substandard materials can be rooted out at the source.

Consumers will have access to tracking tools like data on swing tags and barcodes so that they can directly follow the whole supply chain and production process to ensure its authenticity.

IP (Intellectual Property) Protection

One of the major challenges in most industries is counterfeit products flooding the market.   This lowers profits for the established brands, and also reduces the quality of items, thus damaging the brand’s reputation.

Another challenge is shipment tracking and timely delivery of products with the right specifications. By implementing Blockchain a majority of these problems are minimized.

Using blockchain, manufacturers and designers can protect their brands against counterfeiting. For each fashion item, its origin and ownership can be tracked all the way to its source. Counterfeit product or replicas will not have an authentic chain of records, and can thus be easily rooted out.

Conclusion

Blockchains will allow access to all aspects of the supply chain, making the process efficient, user-friendly, and reliable, with reduced costs. With this revolution in the apparel industry, blockchains have already been recognized as the “next big thing”.  Many brands have already started to embrace this technology and have adopted it in its initial stages.

Apparel companies can securely communicate with consumers about the complete product story for every single item.  Blockchain technology will foreseeably transform the technological advancement of supply chains in the fashion industry.

Blockchain technology will become more and more standard procedure as technical awareness among consumers and businesses increases.


Author: Jeffrey Clark

A management professional with 25 years global experience working with fortune 500 and speciality brands, specializing in lean manufacturing, product, supply chain management, procurement, sourcing, and operations. Proven proactive leadership, vision, creative, and successful strategic business skills to drive revenue and profit growth in highly competitive domestic and global markets. A strong relationship builder, functions effectively as an integral member of a cohesive senior executive team. Proven ability to source, identify and capitalize on emerging trends and niche market opportunities.