Alyx — the luxe fashion brand founded by erstwhile Lady Gaga creative director and Kanye West collaborator Matthew Williams — is launching an IOTA-based pilot for supply chain transparency. The news was reported by industry magazine Vogue Business on June 24.
Williams — who earned a 2016 LVMH Prize finalist nomination for his work at Alyx, and spearheaded brand partnerships with Moncler, Nike and Dior Men — has launched the blockchain pilot together with manufacturing giant Avery Dennison and London-based internet of things (IoT) software firm Evrythng.
As reported, IOTA is an IoT-focused distributed ledger technology firm, which has created an architecture dubbed “Tangle.” Unlike a blockchain, the Tangle protocol does not use “blocks” or mining, but is instead built upon a directed acyclic graph (DAG): a topologically ordered system in which different types of transactions run on different chains in the network simultaneously.
News of the pilot confirms earlier reports of a prospective collaboration between Alyx and IOTA.
For the pilot, nine Alyx pieces will reportedly feature a scannable QR-code that reveals the supply chain of the product — including the sourcing of its raw material, the garment’s place of manufacture, and shipping history.
Once Alyx suppliers have entered the relevant data, Evrything stores and uploads it onto the ledger, while Avery Dennison creates a digital ID tag for each unique garment, per the report.
While the pilot remains limited in its scope, Williams has reportedly told Vogue Business that his “north start goal” is to put the entire range of Alyx products onto the blockchain in a bid to promote transparency.
As Vogue Business notes, the fashion industry faces a considerable challenge bringing its supply chain data onto the blockchain given the wide array of materials and manufacturers that can be involved in the production of a unique garment.
Michael Colarossi — Avery Dennison’s vice president of innovation, product line management and sustainability — told the magazine that the key to making a blockchain solution scalable is to increase automation and to identify “the right nodes of the supply chain from where to pull data and then determining how to most efficiently extract that data.”
For Alyx, Williams told Vogue Business, blockchain implementation was relatively less complex, given the brand’s just four-year history and the fact that it produces 80% of its products with Italian suppliers who are committed to transparency. This latter point is important, the report notes, given that the system wholly depends on the accuracy of the input data.
This May, ConsenSys teamed up with French multinational luxury goods conglomerate LVMH and Microsoft to build a blockchain-powered platform that allows consumers to verify the authenticity of luxury products.