Integrating Blockchain into Fashion

Before the holidays, Los Angeles hosted REMODE—a disruptive two-day event where the top influencers came together to sustainably shift fashion as an industry. Amongst many panels, “The Role of Blockchain in Fashion” was widely anticipated.

Beyond the Label (BtL) supplied REMODE with note takers. Veronica Ko, BtL team member, made note that panelist Tessa Thorburn stated that startup Bext360 has a goal to use blockchain technology to provide proof of its supply chain, so that consumers can better understand where its products come from.

What is blockchain? Blockchain technology is based on a distributed ledger “accounting system” that allows for non-tamperable P2P digital exchanges, purchases, and agreements using unique digital identifier code, also known as Smart Contract.

Forbes beautifully simplified how blockchain functions in fashion: “Every time a product changes hands, that change in custody is recorded on the blockchain.” If you think in terms of actual blocks and chains, data can be strung together yet not be altered. There could be anywhere from two to 200 people that come in contact with one garment (farmers, weavers, cutters, sewers, dyers, warehouse/retail employees, etc.), which could create a very long chain of blocks.

Brands can choose to publicly share that they follow fair trade standards and they can utilize blockchain technology to privately verify how much farmers who farm the fibers for the material are being paid. “By integrating blockchain into the fashion industry, we can create transparency from new materials, seed-to-sale, organic production, including supply and demand local-to-global trade that is sustainable, with 360 full-circle accountability,” explained Brandi Veil, the CEO of Being Investments and consulting partner at Blockchain Beach. She further noted that, “through the use of blockchain technology, the fashion industry can monitor and better understand the supply and demand algorithms of its consumers and producers while addressing deeper levels of sustainability. Brands can even monitor slave trade, which helps design fashion-forward conscious production safe from abuse.”

Millennials are looking for authenticity and transparency, whether it’s through blockchain technology or publicly sharing, sustainable vendors, ethical manufacturers (such as Suuchi Inc.), and other seed-to-sale contributions. As brands hear this message from events like REMODE and the activities of influencers, more and more will be encouraged to use blockchain. You can help by keeping the discussion going.

Make sure to check back for more information on how blockchain is revolutionizing fashion!

Written by Taryn Hipwell


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