Blockchain - Revolutionalizing the Fashion Industry
By: Anurag Varshney on May 25, 2019
Revolutionalizing the Fashion Industry
The term "blockchain" would be familiar to any individual who has kept track, followed the progress or has been involved in the banking and/or the cryptocurrency 'industry' over the past few years. It is the technical methodology implemented by the bitcoin creators for its record-keeping processes.
Blockchain can primarily be considered to be a chain of blocks whereby the blocks refer to the digital data being stored in a database (that has been made public) which is referred to as the chain. The chain is used to safeguard and bind the blocks to one another using elements of encryption.
The blockchain technology is considered to be the skeletal framework of an ever-evolving internet due to its ability to allow for the distribution of information digitally rather than an outright copying mechanism. Although this technology was initially created for the use of electronic legal tender such as the bitcoin, it has been seen to have potential use in industries unrelated to banking or cryptocurrency.
The Capabilities of The Blockchain Industry
blockchain can be referred to as a democratic system as the network has no centralized authority. The information stored in a blockchain is left bare for all to see as it is a public and unalterable register or inventory (read-only). As a result of this, whatsoever it is that is built on the blockchain is transparent in nature and every person engaged in whatever processes or operations made can be held accountable for their actions.
A blockchain bears no transactional expenditure although it has infrastructure charges. It is an easy yet resourceful method of transferring information from a particular point to another in a completely computerized and secure fashion. One of the involved individuals commences the procedure by initiating the formation of a block and the block is validated by a vast amount of computing devices (perhaps thousands or even billions) all over the web. This leads to the creation of not only a distinct file or register but one with a detailed record of events which is included in a chain. The falsification of just one record would connote the falsification of an entire chain in millions of cases. That is essentially impracticable. This paradigm is used by the bitcoin for financial proceedings.
How Blockchain Can Transform the Fashion Industry
Blockchain has the capability to reform the chain of supply and a supply chain is basically the complete structure concerned with the transportation of merchandise or utility from a producer to a consumer. Blockchain alongside a digital tracking mechanism can be used for tracking the shipping or transmission of a commodity or information. This can enable the acceleration of supply chains by the inclusion of digital intellect, thereby improving the general understanding of business structures.
Product Tracking and Authentication Systems
The creation of the model of a blockchain-dependent tracking mechanism is presently being worked upon by Faizod in conjunction with a logistics company. The model combines both blockchain and a radio frequency identification (RFID) that sends information to a user through radio waves. This technology can be applied in the fight against fraudulent activities in the fashion industry by the creation of a system for the identification of falsified products.
The distribution of fake merchandise in the fashion industry leads to the loss of billions yearly and reduces the worth of the products for the end users. The blockchain-dependent tracking mechanism will be of great use not just in the identification of fake products but also in the manufacturing and stock control, storage, circulation, planning as well as the automation of product tracking. A product without the RFID chip or with an RFID not associated with blockchain would be classified as a counterfeit.
The alternations or changes in possession of products can be tracked with the aid of blockchain. The transfer of ownership of a product be it by gifting or selling can be recorded and added to the product's blockchain configuration.
Transparency In The Fashion Industry
The fact that the Blockchain processes are made public has made it possible for every transaction to be observable and monitored thereby creating a transparent network that can be considered trustworthy.
Resolution of Ethical Issues in The Fashion Industry
Blockchain allows for the resolution of the fundamental moral problems in the textile/fashion industry as the manufacturers and designers would have to be accountable. Brands would have to efficiently show the materials being used, their sources as well as the conditions under which the fabrics are being manufactured.
Blockchain's quality as a decentralized transparent mechanism can be used in the textile industry for the authentication, monitoring, and tracking of products. It can also be used to resolve ethical issues as textile workers mostly work under horrible conditions. It basically helps to aid accountability.
(Anurag Varshney, 2019)