IBM targets sustainable fashion with latest blockchain collaboration. IBM’s entry into the blockchain ecosystem is deepening, with a recent collaboration to monitor supply chains in the clothing and apparel sectors.
The Armonk, New York-based tech giant announced Monday that it’s joining forces with German textile manufacturer Kaya&Kato to establish a blockchain network tracking the origin of fabrics used in the fashion industry. The new application will allow Kaya&Kato’s suppliers and customers to identify where their fabrics are processed. It will also understand each step of the production and distribution processes. IBM said “The network is designed to create transparency about the origin of garments, from the fiber used to the completion of the final product, and to provide consumers with the knowledge that their clothes are sustainably produced.”
The initiative is notably funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Growth of Germany. IBM has identified sustainable clothing as a promising growth venture, especially among Europe’s young generation.
An IBM-commissioned study of European consumers by Morning Consult discovered that 75% of respondents say they are concerned about waste in the fashion industry. Sixty-four percent indicate a desire to buy garments if new technologies could verify sustainability claims.
Supply chain logistics has long been marketed as one of the best use cases for blockchain technology. One of the biggest value drivers of blockchain integration is improved traceability, especially in the provision of food and medicine. By 2025, 20% of global grocers are estimated to use blockchain technology for food safety and traceability.
Although VeChain is arguably the most recognizable blockchain project tackling supply-chain management, other protocols like WaltonChain, Wabi and Ambrosus are also looking to disrupt this space. In terms of market capitalization and price action, supply chain cryptocurrencies are relatively small compared with other industry verticals like DeFi, smart contracts and oracles.
[image: Cherie Birkner]