When receiving new shirts you’d bought online, or bought some jeans from one of the fashion stores on your street, the question that may have come to mind then was, how did these items get to be in my hands? The answer is supply chains.
Supply chains in the fashion industry organize people, activities and information to move fashion products from the producer to the consumer. Although supply chains have undergone a revolution since the advent of the internet and artificial intelligence, that revolution might be incomplete without the introduction of the decentralized, distributed and public digital ledger known as blockchain technology.
Blockchain technology prevents product fraud in supply chains
Blockchain brings complete transparency to the fashion industry. Suppose you ordered a pair of shoes from your local store and it is labeled “Made in Italy” — how can you be sure that the shoe really was made in Italy? Visual Capitalist reports that counterfeit goods have caused damage worth around $300 billion to the global economy.
Considering how large the counterfeit goods industry is, we can’t always depend on product tags to accurately show the origin of a product. Blockchain solves this problem by keeping unalterable records of the product journey from raw material to finished product, which makes it impossible for fake products to be verified on the network. Decentralized applications for verifying the origin of purchased goods will enable customers to scan the product code and see the product journey.
Blockchain technology prevents accounting fraud
Blockchain technology solves the problem of accounting fraud in supply chains by creating blocks of records that cannot be altered. For example, if Supplier A were to supply through a traditional supply chain, accounting problems may be encountered on both the supplier and the consumer end because information throughout the supply chain can be altered and the middleman could change the amount being supplied, which poses an issue for verification.
On the other hand, if Supplier A is sending 50 shirts to Consumer B through blockchain technology, the number of shirts and the amount to be paid for the shirts cannot be altered on the network, thereby preventing fraud.
Blockchain supply chains are faster than traditional supply chains
Any fashion supplier knows the importance of delivering new waves of stock faster and more efficiently. Even though transactions on a blockchain can take between 10 minutes and several hours to undergo verifications due to limits on the network’s transaction volume, some new blockchain projects now have improved transaction speeds.
The speed of a blockchain network can ensure that verifying the authenticity of supplied fashion goods is completed within microseconds of arrival, and with the removal of middlemen from the supply chain, goods can be supplied at a faster rate, improving the efficiency and quality of goods supplied. Fashion products that are returned due to defects can also be processed through a blockchain network without any alteration.
Blockchain brings innovation through decentralized applications
Blockchain is a new technology that optimizes supply chains across a wide range of industries. For example, New Balance now uses the Cardano blockchain to authenticate its shoes, and users can verify information about a pair of sneakers with the data recorded the blockchain; while Provenance, a blockchain supply chain company, operates on open-source software, which encourages developers across the world to contribute to their project.
Blockchain technology has solved a significant number of industry and technological issues by preventing fraud and hacking, removing middlemen and ensuring that the right goods are supplied to consumers as quickly as possible. Blockchain technology will increase the technological advancement of supply chains in the fashion industry. The future we look forward to in the supply chains of the fashion industry is here.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Oluwatobi Joel is a U.S.-based freelance copywriter, community manager, blockchain expert and serial entrepreneur. He has worked with various blockchain startups as a marketing strategist. He is also the co-founder of Lootner, a Bitcoin reward website.