Blockchain, the buzzword of the moment. What is it? Where did it come from? What does it mean? Put simply, blockchain is a downloadable database software that collects information in groups or ‘blocks’. Each block has a specific storage capacity, which when filled, is chained to the previously filled block, this forms a chain of data known as the “blockchain”. This chain is synchronized with all the computers within that database which records and stores every transaction and its history.
So how is this technology significant to the fashion industry? The fashion industry, like history, repeats itself. Trends seem to be on a merry go round hopping off about every 10 years. Similarly, with blockchain, history is always there. Currently, brands can hide their supply chain history- and they do. Greenwashing has distanced itself from beyond the traditional Earth month marketing occurring every April, it’s now sewn into the actual garments- despite whether they were made sustainably or not. Blockchain technology gives consumers the ability to do their own research rather than fact-check what the fashion industry chooses to share publicly. With blockchain, anyone with an internet connection can access the permanent supply chain record.
The fashion industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters and like many industries- big corporations hide behind closed doors when asked about their impact on people and the environment. A key part of blockchain technology is that each user must digitally sign wherever they make changes or transactions. This signature acts as their password but also allows the network to identify them and allows others to verify their identity without knowing their password to the data. This system allows transparency in the fashion industry to be unavoidable. Suppliers, manufacturers, and brands are forced to take direct responsibility for their decisions and how those decisions affect people and the environment.
This aspect of blockchain not only creates complete transparency with the manufacturing of fashion goods but also with the authenticity of second-hand luxury items. The database allows a much broader scope of the history of a product because you can interact with all previous owners, whether there be three or ten. Clarity between the consumer and the seller will revolutionize the second-hand clothing market.
It’s simple: the future of fashion is digital. By digitizing fashion, relationships between suppliers, designers, brands, retailers, content creators, and individual customers will become transparent.
The universal platform, lablaco is connecting all stakeholders to advance the fashion industry towards a circular economy. lablaco offers two blockchain-powered platforms. SPIN allows consumers to use blockchain technology and LPLUS allows brands and retailers to initiate a circular concept within their company.
SPIN allows consumers to list and tokenize pre-owned items with traceable digital ownership so that users can swap, share, borrow and even trade back to their favorite brands. This consumer marketplace concept is similar to apps like Poshmark or Depop but unlike these popular apps, Lablaco forces consumers and brands to be socially and environmentally responsible.
LPLUS is a Circular-Retail-as-a-Service (CRaaS) platform designed for brands and retailers to simply tokenize products on blockchain, activating circular business models. LPLUS uses blockchain technology to allow data traceability of product origin, authenticity, environmental impact, and creating a universal circular economy. Lablaco sets itself apart by creating a platform for change, not for profit.
According to the Circular Fashion Report 2020 – Year Zero, a collective report initiated by Circular Fashion Summit by lablaco, the current market value of the physical fashion industry is $3 trillion. Here’s the catch, if the fashion industry were to become circular and transitioned to a digitized industry, the projected market value is $5.3 trillion. That is close to double the current market value. Reusing and recycling products creates a longer life cycle, business models like subscription plans, swap/take-back programs, and reselling promote the circularity of the fashion industry.
Right now, consumers are on autopilot, with blockchain, all that is required is to change gears.