Partnering with IBM and retailers like H&M (COS Brand), Next and New Look, The UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) has launched a nine-month blockchain traceability project.
The project aims to develop and pilot a supply chain traceability solution for the UK fashion industry and is financially supported by Innovate UK to the tune of £1.4 million (US $ 2 million).
Joanne Poynor, Head of Sustainable Development, Next said, “Working together, we are pleased to support the development of a new supply chain platform tool for the apparel and textiles sector, to facilitate the gathering of robust sustainability data and provide clear visibility of environmental and ethical impacts to empower better decisions.”
The new platform will use IBM’s blockchain technology to share information about the clothing products – such as place and date of production, product composition and environment-related certificates – accessible to consumers via a QR code.
Key supply chain processes will be digitised, creating a shared system of data that different parties can access. This will all be stored on IBM Cloud, which will also use AI technology for optimisation and to detect and respond to supply chain disruption.