The fashion and luxury industry has become infamous for its waste and inhumane working conditions. Blockchain-based tracking solutions can empower consumers by providing supply chain insights.
There is a lot wrong with today’s fashion industry. It’s the second-largest polluter in the world after the oil industry. Here are some facts:
Water pollution: In many of the countries in which garments are produced, untreated toxic wastewaters from textile factories are dumped directly into the rivers.
Emissions: The apparel industry accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions.
Waste: Every year, fashion manufacturing produces 92 million tons of solid waste, most of which goes to landfills or up in smoke.
Working Conditions: Many fashion brands barely even pay their workers a minimum wage. Garment workers are often forced to work 14 to 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. Employees often work with no ventilation, breathing in toxic substances, inhaling fiber dust, or blasted sand in unsafe buildings.
Long story short: The $800 billion global apparel industry, with its ever-faster fashion, has become infamous for its waste and squander.
Blockchain offers solutions: traceability and transparency
While the above issues are well-known facts, consumers do not have sufficient insights into manufacturers’ supply chains to be able to understand how fashion brands actually produce their clothing. Labels of fair trade and businesses’ self-declared corporate and social responsibility (SCR) goals are mostly marketing stunts at best.
With blockchain, there is a solution at hand that could provide traceability and transparency into the fashion industry’s supply chains. Blockchain solutions can create a physical-to-digital link between goods and their (digital) identities. A cryptographic seal or serial number acts as the physical identifier, linking back to the product’s “digital twin.”
This digital identity is what brands are betting on. It’s on the micro-scale…