Fashion is as old as man. In the modern age, fashion has undergone several disruptions and the evolution is on-going. The rise of the blockchains has provided an elbow room for the improvement of many facets of fashion. The art of commerce and management in the fashion scene is open to the blockchain disruption.
Maybe what stands out as a looming challenge in the fashion industry is the control over intellectual property. This can be simplified as the right to specific designs. Knowing how this works with the network capability of the blockchain can mean a world of difference.
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Fashion Meets the Blockchain
The features of the blockchain are recognizable and in many ways, they provide an innovative approach to life. Beginning with the immutability of its records, any entry captured by the blockchain cannot be erased. Not even clandestine methods can sabotage this commendable feature that is applauded globally.
Furthermore, blockchain technology makes it possible for a secured access to information and data. Whatever exists on the chain can be accessed anywhere in the world and even on a real-time basis. It is thus easy to tell when an entry or data was first logged. This removes the guesswork when it is time to prove ownership of an idea or trademark.
It is also worthy of note that the time-stamping element seen in the blockchain can be a major decider any day. Arguments and litigation arise over who has the first mention in many facets of life. This is an area that a global identification system can be leveraged on when it comes to blockchain capabilities.
In the area of transaction processing, the rise of smart contracts makes it easy to provide a global base of valuation. In this sense, with the presence of an ecommerce cart, payment can be made for transactions on the blockchain. As to the means of payment, the growing acceptance of crypto makes it possible to complete transactions on the blockchain. The likes of bitcoin lightning network already ease the processing times for bitcoin, and this enhances crypto adoption.
There is credible evidence therefore that blockchain technology investment is a huge plus for the fashion industry. There are many gaps in the sector so far that still begs for solutions. What about solving the issue of supply chain inadequacies? What about ensuring that customers do not have payment problems because of where they live? You might want to consider disputes over trademark ownership as well. All these need a closer look.
The Challenges of Fashion Industry
The fashion industry provides one of the shortest routes to fame and fortune in our world. Despite this fact, it has its own share of challenges. Let us examine these a bit more in this discourse.
1. Supply chain problems
What cannot be disputed is that supply chain management is an area that presents a big challenge in the fashion world. This is not because there is a lack of understanding of this challenge. What is clear is that there is a capacity problem when it comes to designing solutions. When demand skyrockets for a particular product, it is common to find that many people cannot buy it due to supply shortfalls.
So, at what time is it communicated that a product requires X number in supplies? What can be done to track or anticipate demand? All these questions require that a tracking model is developed that is easy to review and update. In merging AI and blockchain, user tastes and preferences can be monitored on the blockchain. This will make it possible to determine the supply limits, delivery thresholds and restocking alerts to put in place.
By deploying blockchain technology in this regard, companies can predict the quantity to produce, and when to ship. This will lead to more customer fulfillment and better turnover for retail chains around the globe.
2. An eye on design rights
Every designer should be able to earn the due reward for intellectual property. It is easy in our day for a design to go online and be seen around the world in a few minutes. Sometimes, a design is easily replicated around the world with huge losses to the initiator. The blockchain can provide an easy answer when resolving this issue.
The issue of collection and remittance of royalties also follow the same route on the blockchain. Smart contracts can be provided to the legal agreement source online. This way, anyone who requires a right of use can do so with no hindrance. Usage rights can be easily approved, and remittance can be accounted for with the smart contract tracking.
So, any design can be stored or provided online with its hash pointing to a legal agreement or restriction. This way, it will be easy to hold anyone that infringes it to account. It also provides a way to recognize the design source and ascribe a point of contact. While this would not entirely eliminate the work of counterfeiters, it at least makes it easy to recognize a right.
3. A tab on claims
One area that cannot be ignored is making of claims with regards to fashion products. Sometimes, the claims that arise might be from counterfeit products, and this might be difficult to prove. With the blockchain, every product batch is easy to track, and shipments can be monitored. With barcodes on the product label, a near-field identification can easily reveal if it is genuine. The codes can be checked against the delivered batch for the region.
This way, any deviation from the known delivery codes will reveal if it is fake or counterfeited. This safeguard is one that can work both ways. The supplier can easily track genuine claims against its deliveries. Also, the user can also determine if counterfeit products exist in a particular outlet. The ease of blockchain technology makes it data accessible in the public domain.
There is no doubt that blockchains offer several solutions that can put the fashion industry in good stead. However, it must not be forgotten that the data fed into the blockchain has a human input, and this is a potential loophole. Same goes for monitoring of results and exceptions. Unless the human side of the blockchain implementation is at its optimal, it can still be less than efficient.
Some people also point at the potential effect of the consensus mechanism adopted in each blockchain. Can consensus be compromised? While at present there exist possible safeguards against collusion, there is still room for concerns.
Despite the possible limitations in blockchains, what exists so far shows that blockchain solutions provide many advantages. The fashion world can be better with the adoption of blockchain apps and technology.
Author Bio: Stevan Mcgrath, is a Bitcoin and cryptocurrency enthusiast, passionate about the potential these tools and blockchain technology bring to the world and writes consistently for CoinReview. He has been following development of blockchain for several years. To know his work and more details you can follow him on Twitter, Linkedin.