Empowering Brands and Consumers with New ‘Track to the Rack’ Capabilities

May 16, 2019

Mass-Scale Product Digitization Meets the Blockchain

This week we announced an innovative AMPLIFY project between EVRYTHNG, Avery Dennison, IOTA and 1017 ALYX 9SM—raising the bar on the promise of transparency and sustainability in the apparel industry. Consumers now have instant access to full product provenance simply by scanning the apparel item’s QR code label with a smartphone.

While we have been helping brands create direct-to-consumer experiences through mass-scale product digitization for several years—the addition of IOTA’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) allows us to bring a whole new level of transparency to the market. Consumers now receive full provenance information assuring consumers the apparel they buy and wear is ethically sourced from sustainable sources.

Product Provenance

Why Now? A New Era of Sustainability

We are witnessing a whole new era of sustainability. Consumers around the world are increasingly motivated to be more environmentally conscious and they are exercising their voice through the products they buy. This said, knowing the provenance of products is a critical part of a consumer’s decision-making process.

Brands able to provide customers with product information, supply chain traceability and overall transparency will come out on top. As in the case of 1017 ALYX 9SM, blockchain and DLTs are playing a lead role in defining the future of brand protection—while helping build trust with valued customers.

With today’s announcement we combine the power of mass-scale product digitization with the immutability of IOTA’s DLT. This innovative solution will allow brands to meet the divergent needs and expectations of today’s consumers—from Gen X to Gen Z.

Consumers no longer just make purchasing decisions based on convenience and price. They make purchasing decisions based on a brand’s ability to fulfill their need to better the world. In fact, a recent survey by Nielsen reported 81% of global respondents feel strongly that companies should help improve the environment. This passion for corporate social responsibility is shared across gender lines and generations. Gen Z, Millenials and Gen X are the most supportive, but Baby Boomers aren’t far behind.

Taking a Deep Dive into the Technology

The proof of concept distributed ledger technology (DLT) solution announced today is an extension of Avery Dennison’s Janela™ platform, powered by EVRYTHNG, which allows brands to create clothing that is born digital, and connect with their customers directly via a QR code on the label containing a unique product identity. With this announcement, we’ve added the capabilities of EVRYTHNG Blockchain Integration Hub partner, IOTA, to provide consumers with full transparency and provenance for the 1017 ALYSX 9SM apparel items they purchase and wear.

By scanning a unique QR code on the garment’s label with their smartphone, consumers can view the clothing item’s “journey” and track it back from creation to the rack and point of sale. At the same time, 1017 ALYX 9SM and other brands will now have full visibility of their product’s journey throughout the supply chain, giving them access to real-time data and statistics, via IOTA’s DLT, also known as the Tangle.

This last point is very important to consumers who have lost trust in brands. With this new solution, consumers can be assured the provenance data shared by 1017 ALYX 9SM is authentic because it is written to an immutable and decentralized network—making it impossible to forge.

The solution also includes an integration with OriginTrail, another EVRYTHNG Blockchain Integration Hub partner. The use of OriginTrail’s blockchain facilitates decentralized data sharing between supply chain partners, including, global collaboration, reliability, auditability, while assuring only authorized parties gain access to the data.

These images display both what the consumer receives upon scanning a QR code to authenticate the data trail of an apparel item and what 1017 ALYX 9SM and its supply chain partners see as items travel through the supply chain from sourcing to retail.

Track to the Rack

There are many things that make this solution different but one of the biggest differentiators and benefits for brands is the scalability of this solution. We successfully worked with Avery Dennison to deploy a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) of this solution across different factories to simulate real-world manufacturing processes. With 1017 ALYX 9SM, we bring this PoC to the real world. As displayed in the image above, brands can now collect real-time data intelligence throughout an apparel item’s supply chain journey no matter how many factories or third parties may be involved, and then preserve this data in the blockchain—or in the case of 1017 ALYX 9SM, IOTA’s distributed ledger—in a cost-effective and highly scalable manner.

Taking this one step further, we allow consumers to access detailed transparency data, down to the raw materials used to manufacture the item, via a simple and convenient QR code scan. We do this by activating products at source with a label embedded with a scannable digital identity.

EVRYTHNG Blockchain Integration Hub and IOTA

As shared, the use of blockchain and/or distributed ledger technology in itself is a big differentiator for brands. Last month we celebrated the one-year anniversary of the EVRYTHNG Blockchain Integration Hub. The EVRYTHNG Hub helps brands simply and cost-effectively assess which blockchain solutions and capabilities are most appropriate for their business and then rapidly deploy. By removing a number of risks associated with deploying blockchain technologies, we allow brands to focus on experimenting with the business benefits rather than the complexity of the technology. A win-win for the brand and the consumer.

Using the EVRYTHNG Blockchain Integration Hub, we were able to combine two of the distributed ledgers we integrate with to deliver a complete solution for 1017 ALYX 9SM. Currently, the fees charged by other public blockchains like, Ethereum and Bitcoin, makes the application of the technology for full traceability impractical. With IOTA’s unique distributed ledger technology, people and machines can transfer data or value without any transaction fees in a trustless, permissionless and decentralized environment.

What’s Next

This is just the beginning of continued big changes we expect to see in the apparel industry and consumer products industry at large. We believe current consumer expectations for provenance data is only going to grow as voices rise in the call for sustainability. And the integration of blockchain and other DLTs into supply chain traceability solutions will transition from being considered a competitive differentiator to an industry requirement. Our EVRYTHNG Blockchain Integration Hub removes the risk for consumer product brands wanting to explore the possibilities of blockchain. To learn more, feel free to contact us at https://evrythng.com/contact-us/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dominique Guinard

Dominique Guinard

Co-Founder & CTO

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