While many people were using blockchain technology for digital currency; its original use, others went further to uncharted territory by exploring areas. Although many sectors such as manufacturing, and supply chain were quick to exploit the potential of blockchain, only a few people thought of the fashion industry and how this technology can benefit it. For instance, when receiving clothes that you had bought online from a specific fashion store, the question one would ask themselves is, how did these clothes get into my hands?
In the fashion industry, supply chain organizes individuals, activities and information to enable products to move from the manufacturer to the consumer. Despite the revolution that supply chain has undergone since the arrival of the internet, the cycle will not be complete without the introduction of artificial intelligence, decentralization, and digital ledger technology. This is where blockchain technology can address the fashion industry. Blockchain used in the supply chain introduces the aspects of transparency and ease of management in this industry. Supposing a customer orders a product labelled “Nike” and assumes that means it is made by Nike, for example, it will be hard under the normal circumstances to find out if the product is genuine or counterfeit.
Since counterfeiting has become a huge problem in fashion industry, depending on product tags alone to determine the origin of a product is no longer sufficient. However, with blockchain, this problem is addressed with immutability of records that ensures that records of origin are tamper-proof. The journey of products from raw material to finished product can be traced making it impossible for counterfeit products to be verified or to enter the network. Through decentralized applications, customers will check the origin of items by scanning the code of the products and see their journey from source to destination.
Through the creation of blocks of records that cannot be altered, blockchain technology addresses the problem of fraud in accounting. For example, the middlemen who may want to alter accounting information such as the number of items supplied between the supplier and consumer will not be able to do so because the blocks of records created through blockchain technology are unchangable. This prevents fraud that would have been easily achieved in the traditional system.
Delivering new products efficiently, faster and on time is critical to fashion suppliers. With blockchain, fashion companies can experience improved transaction speeds and increased volumes that can be verified at any given time. The speed offered by blockchain network increases the fast verification of authenticity of fashion products and ensures that verification is completed in a short time, thwarting the interference from middlemen to alter the records. This ensures the quality of goods in the supply chain since products that have defects can be returned to the manufacturer.
Blockchain is now in use in optimizing supply chains in different industries and companies. An example is New Balance that uses the Cordano blockchain to authenticate the shoes. This technology can now verify information about the company’s sneakers and records data. It removes intermediaries and ensures that the original items reach the consumer as desired in the fashion industry.