There is a huge gap between any designs of the outfit/accessory etc. to the end-user who will buy it and wear it. In between, the outfit/accessory, etc., undergo the process of getting turned into a real product from the design to its manufacturing to its production, promotion, transportation, and last consumption. Every stage here runs on the backbone of the supply chain.
For instance, A designer designs any outfit/accessory and starts thinking of turning into a product. Here comes the procurement, raw materials, and resources in the picture where everything needs to be brought to ‘A’ for its production. Once this is produced the branding, a promotional stage comes into the picture, which requires ethical ways of information sharing to reach the right target group in the right way, ensuring no fraud happens.
Once the demand peaks in the same product need to be reached out to the target group, the supply chain plays a major role. To ensure the smooth fulfillment of the stages, Fashion Industry can use blockchain technology to track shipments of raw materials from source to the factory, factory to warehouses, warehouses to deliveries, or outlets, all this with 100% transparency and anonymity. With the help of blockchain technology, frauds and hacking can be prevented, the middleman can be eliminated, and most importantly, products will be reached to costumes as quickly as possible.
How can Blockchain technology transform the Fashion Industry?
With the help of blockchain technology, a physical link between any product and its digital identity can be created. The serial number works as an identification number, which can provide the history and geography of that particular product, i.e., from the product’s source, is it authentic? Current status of the product? Etc. Everything can be tracked and kept transparent to ensure no counterfeits of that product are sold, or consumers are fooled by choosing duplicate, etc. All these risks and fraud, high margins of the middlemen can be eliminated with blockchain technology.
The relevance of the blockchain industry can be understood with the help of its use cases as below:
i) Rights and protection: The major dangerous threat to the fashion industry has been the “counterfeit products.” Consumers have been fooled, looted under the name of branded products when the product has been altered with the original and sold in the market under the name of “Brands.”
These replicas and duplicate products are hard to identify and trace. By leveraging blockchain technology, each fashion item can be traced to its source and ensure customers receive the right product they have paid for and not the duplicate product.
ii) The source tracking: The fashion industry runs on the brands, and brands run on their quality. With the help of Blockchain, IoT everything can be traced right from the origin of the product; the raw materials procurement helps to increase the tracing of the source to cross with the authenticity of the labeled made in products. It also helps identify major weak points or loopholes in the overall chain and consistently improve quality and performance.
iii) Transparent and efficient supply chain: Shipments, procurement, and logistics need constant improvement and increasing efficiency. With the help of Blockchain, the supply chain would become more transparent. Moreover, the records in the technology remain immutable, which makes it verified. The transparency and efficiency in the whole process tracking can increase the efficiency of the supply chain.
iv) Trademarks: One of the important credits fashion stylists want to own is the royalty. Their creation should be unalterable. Their designs should always be licensed along with trademarks, possible with Blockchain tracking, which can ensure that royalty will always be shown to the right person who created that.
Major benefits provided by Blockchain in the Fashion Industry’s supply chain
i) Prevents fraud and hacking: The most damaging thing to the fashion industry’s economy is the counterfeit goods. These products make false claims on product tags or even their origin. By leveraging blockchain technology, immutable records of the product journey are created in the public ledger from the raw material procurement to the finished product. It helps in verifying the fake or duplicate products. Decentralization will also help the customers to trace the product journey with a single scan.
Accounting problems usually faced in the traditional supply chain and give rise to frauds can also be solved using Blockchain as it creates unaltering records. It is not possible in the traditional supply chain as there are chances of altering the numbers, middlemen changing the details, etc. Thus Blockchain can prevent frauds and altering the information and make every record verified.
ii) Faster than traditional supply chain: The block chain’s main feature is it can provide the history and geography of the product. Any supplier can use this technology and register its products, making it easy for the buyer or any party to verify the authenticity of the products that re going to be supplied. It will increase the speed and improve the efficiency of the transactions. The direct connection will also eliminate intermediaries and increase the product supply rate from supplier to end-user.
iii) Seamless omnichannel experience: In today’s scenario, supply chain and logistics involve many vendors and stakeholders who work on a different system to track their sales, deliveries, and metrics. As the supply chain has started operating in an omnichannel model, the link’s single point is necessary.
With Blockchain’s transparency and connectivity, those barriers can be removed. The holistic operating of those omnichannel experiences can help bring complete visibility among all channels and inventories that could further bring the company a clear and efficient view to fulfill the most cost-effective manner.
iv) Eliminates market inefficiencies: Supply chain is an operations heavy domain which requires constant tracking and removal of weak links in the process. Blockchain can help identify the inefficiencies, the points, and sources in the overall process and provide a base to eliminate inefficiencies and improve performance.
v) Automation of logistics: Blockchain is a technology that tries not to show ownership but shows how everything can work on a pilot basis. Similarly, every process in the supply chain and logistics can be automated to help technology support. The various conditions and how the channels can come together to find the most cost-effective and easier way to solve any problem that persists in supply chain operations. Blockchain can help to view a blueprint, access the records, and high-level assessment can help transition, improving, and expand the scope of any practice.
Blockchain is the future of transforming the fashion industry. The fashion industry needs quality and loyalty. Both of these can be achieved with Blockchain’s transparency and public ledger it provides where everything gets stored up. Blockchain individually can transform the fashion industry. Imagine if it will be combined with IoT, AI, and robotics to disrupt the fashion industry’s supply chain easily.
Logistics and supply chain need to leverage this blockchain industry because it will help every industry explore the challenges that can be faced. But one thing is for sure, the way the supply chain works is by involving various channels and stakeholders. Blockchain can be one key element in achieving the supply chain’s potential by adopting the blockchain technology.