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Future of pop-ups, preparing for holiday, Eileen Fisher and West Elm collaborate

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Fashion’s new playground: Esports and gaming (Vogue Business)
  • Retail is ‘scrambling’ to keep up with accelerated disruption in the COVID-19 era (Retail Dive)
  • How to prepare for the toughest holiday season ever (BoF)
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Fashion is hurting biodiversity. New guidelines could help.  (Vogue Business)
  • Fashion Positive launches industry’s first circular materials guidelines (WWD)
  • Alexander McQueen launches MCQ, a blockchain-powered creative platform (HighSnobiety)
  • How mobile technology can encourage sustainability (Environment Journal)
RETAIL & COMMERCE
  • Is pre-sale the future of luxury retail? (WWD)
  • Popup power: why short-term stores are set to thrive (Vogue Business)
  • John Lewis launches virtual queuing system trial (TheIndustry.Fashion)
  • The case for opening a new store right now (BoF)
  • Even as the pandemic persists, the future of retail is not locked down (WWD)
  • Tmall Luxury unveils new features to connect brands with Gen Z (Retail Dive)
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • TikTok unveils first shoppable livestream with Ntwrk (Retail Dive)
  • 4 post-COVID marketing tips that will save luxury brands in China (Jing Daily)
  • The “Gucci Model Challenge” is taking over TikTok (Teen Vogue)
  • How Summer Fridays pivoted its marketing due to Covid-19 (Glossy)
PRODUCT
  • Disney Store launches clothing recycled from Walt Disney World plastic bottles (TheIndustry.Fashion)
  • Eileen Fisher, West Elm launch sustainable home line using denim discards (WWD)
  • Reiss launches new “Luxe Leisure” collection to answer to the “new normal” (TheIndustry.Fashion)
BUSINESS
  • Walmart sells two more ecommerce brands in digital reshuffle (Bloomberg)
  • Ulta Beauty says makeup category ‘challenged’ amid coronavirus (WWD)
  • How Sephora prepped for an ecommerce onslaught (Retail Dive)
  • Why aren’t more Chinese department stores going bankrupt? (BoF)
  • Alibaba wants American brands. The same ones as Amazon (Vogue Business)
  • Amazon says forging ahead with luxury platform (WWD)
CULTURE
  • Why Gen Y & Z continue shopping despite crisis (Fashion United)
  • When controversy hits in China, luxury brands bank on short attention spans (Jing Daily)
  • How Yeti beat streetwear at the business of making things…cool (High Snobiety)

 

 

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business digital snippets e-commerce Retail social media Startups sustainability technology

COVID-19: Stores plan for reopening, Fashion goes virtual, Brands support in relief efforts

wealthy-americans-coronavirus-e1583184976710

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Macy’s to reopen dozens of stores, sets timeline for full return (Bloomberg)
  • A peek into the new mindset of fashion post-lockdown  (Forbes)
  • How the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing brands to connect digitally (Retail Dive)
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • VeChain Partners with Fashion Brand H&M to Use Blockchain for Supply Chain Traceability (Bitcoin Exchange Guide)
  • Mango launches first capsule collection based on recycled fibers (TheIndustry Fashion)
  • Fashion needs “Creative Resilience” to come out on the other side of COVID-19 (Sourcing Journal)
  • Can sustainable fashion and inclusive sizing coexist? (Harper’s Bazaar)
RETAIL & COMMERCE
  • Tmall announces its online outlet, Luxury Soho (Jing Daily)
  • Zalora says it is a “data first, then fashion” company (The Drum)
  • Will digital showrooms save fashion’s wholesale brands? (Fashion United)
  • Sandy Liang is hosting a virtual pop-up on Animal Crossing (High Snobiety)
  • What will stores look like when they reopen? (BoF)
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Michael Kors gets digitally creative with “My Way” China Capsule (WWD)
  • How luxury is reaching customers during lockdown (Jing Daily)
  • NBCUniversal boosts shoppable content efforts with new Checkout platform (eMarketer)
  • Marketing to Gen Z during COVID-19 (Vogue Business)
PRODUCT
  • After Clarisonic, Mr Robb is at it again (WWD)
  • Sustainable sneaker brand Allbirds debuts its first running shoe (Evening Standard)
  • Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton and more French brands to support healthcare workers with one-off auction (Harper’s Bazaar)
  • Yuima Nakazato Offers Made-to-Order Garments Virtually (WWD)
BUSINESS
  • Covid-19 is set to unleash a wave of corporate mergers and acquisitions (Quartz)
  • Biggest mall operator in the US plans to reopen 49 of them (NYT)
  • Thinking positive: fashions coronavirus relief efforts (Drapers)
  • Luxury firms find signs of hope in Asia (Vogue Business)
  • Diesel North America taps Patrick Valeo as CEO (WWD)
  • Suppliers are feeling retail’s pain, too (Retail Dive)
CULTURE
  • Their Met Gala, their way. You’re invited.  (NYT)
  • Skin-care flextarians: a new wave of beauty enthusiasts (WWD)
  • Live experiences need brands now more than ever (AdWeek)
  • How luxury fashion shopping habits are shifting in a time of pandemic (Fashionista)

 

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business data e-commerce product Retail social media sustainability technology

2019 highlights: The year in innovation news

2019 was a big year for innovation and the Current Daily has been tracking it all throughout – from the rise of 5G-enabled experiences to the continued push towards a circular economy. 

Here, we highlight some of the most interesting stories from the year, outlining why they are an important indication of where the industry is moving in 2020 and beyond.

5G will drive 100m people to shop in AR

Augmented reality took center stage this year as its user-friendly features meant a growing number of brands – and social media platforms like Instagram – started adopting it as a core engagement strategy.

In April, a Gartner report highlighted that 100 million people will shop in AR once high-speed 5G mobile services roll out more extensively. This means the experience is going to be more seamless than ever, giving it better real-time rendering, shorter download times and reduced latency. Retailers seem to be on board, as 46% of them plan to deploy either AR or VR. Check out our piece exploring what other benefits 5G will bring retail.

Fashion brands have only met 21% of their circularity targets for 2020

If there’s one thing to be sure, there’s no escaping the growing momentum around shifting to more sustainable practices as an industry. But is there really progress being made? In July, the Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) launched its second yearly assessment of fashion brands and retailers to find that only reached 45 (21%) of the 213 targets the industry has set for 2020 will be met. 

This means the 90 signatories of the GFA’s 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment, which includes fashion companies like adidas, PVH Group and Inditex, will have to hurry if they want to achieve more in the next year. We talked a lot about the need for action in this space when a further collaborative group was announced: the G7 Fashion Pact. If you ask us, it’s time to say enough to the pledges, rather give us some tangible outputs.

H&M to trial clothing rental for the first time

Talking of sustainability, one are where we have seen a lot of action and experimentation this year is in new business models. Rental is making serious strides at all ends of the market, but perhaps most interestingly within fast fashion just recently as the H&M Group announced it will trial clothing rental at one of its H&M Stockholm stores. Members of its customer loyalty program can now rent selected party dresses and skirts from its 2012-2019 Conscious Exclusive collections.

Recently, its brand COS also launched a pilot where it is renting out clothes through Chinese subscription rental platform YCloset, which customers can access through a monthly flat rate. We also published a deep-dive into the different opportunities we see for the industry in rental, here.

Allbirds CEO calls out Amazon product copying

In November, Allbirds’ co-founder and CEO, Joey Zwilinger, wrote an open letter to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos after discovering the e-commerce platform was producing its own wool sneakers similar to the brand’s most popular style.

Instead of going the usual lawsuit route, the founder took this as an opportunity to highlight his brand’s sustainability mission. In the letter, Zwilinger highlights that Allbirds’ sustainable philosophy is open source, and it has thus far helped over 100 brands who were interested in implementing its renewable materials into their products, suggesting Amazon might like to do the same. It was a bold move but one that sparked a conversation around the role of collaboration once more, and its critical place in true innovation.

Gen Z loves TikTok. Can fashion brands learn to love it too?

Gen Z quickly adopted Chinese social media platform TikTok as their app du jour this year for its bite-sized video content. Currently, 66% of the platform’s 500 million global users are under 30, according to data analytics firm, Business of Apps.

Brands have started to follow suit, tapping the app to drive engagement and ultimately sales. Content varies from crowdsourced, as in a recent Burberry campaign that saw users challenged to create the brand’s logo with their fingers, through to more refined, such as in a snippet of an interview with singer Shawn Mendes for Calvin Klein. We explored various other brands setting TikTok precedent, here.

Lush abandons social media

While TikTok has been taking off, elsewhere social media is slowing for some. Vegan cosmetics brand, Lush, for instance decided to shut down all of its activity in the UK as it became “tired of fighting with algorithms” or paying to appear on news feeds. Instead, it suggested a hashtag where fans would still be able to speak to the brand.

Lush’s bold move speaks to fight playing out for anything still resembling organic reach. As consumers become jaded over being ‘sold to’, brands are having to find novel ways to reach them, beyond the influencer route. One other area we’re tracking here is those owning their own conversation channels, as with both Glossier and H&M of late.

Coty acquires majority stake in Kylie Jenner’s beauty business

2019 was the year of major acquisitions in both beauty and fashion. While LVMH recently announced it was snapping up Tiffany & Co for $16bn, other names included Farfetch buying New Guards Group, which operates streetwear favorite Off White for $675m; Shiseido acquiring cult skincare brand Drunk Elephant for $845m; and more recently, Coty acquiring a majority stake in Kylie Jenner’s beauty business, Kylie Cosmetics, for $600m. 

The latter served as particular confirmation of how brands build and grow in this day and age. Jenner, who was 18 when she started a single ‘lip kit’ line, used Instagram to form a direct conversation with her audience. In 2019, this seems like an obvious strategy, but the reality star’s foresight to do so in 2015 has undoubtedly been her recipe for success.

How luxury fashion learned to love the blockchain

Amid growing concerns over the proliferation of counterfeit goods, luxury brands also began to embrace blockchain as an important authentication tool this year. 

Earlier this year, we heard about how LVMH launched its own platform, Aura, which is currently being piloted with some of the brands in its portfolio and will further expand in the future. Kering and Richemont meanwhile are said to be exploring this too, while De Beers is using it to trace its diamonds. Once matured, the technology will undoubtedly make its way into the hands of the consumer, who will be able to better understand where their possessions are coming from. We also tracked some of the other innovations in the transparency space; an area that continues to heat up.

Automation in retail: an executive overview for getting ready

Automation was another big tech focus this year, particularly for its potential impact on retail, from supply chain management to last mile delivery. This shift is putting pressure on retailers to rethink their operating models, distribution centres and headquarters, with McKinsey warning that brands that fail to implement it into their strategy risk falling behind. 

Automation is something we’ve long been talking about for the sake of efficiency, but there also comes a significant ethics conversation to be had here, which the industry is exploring. We agree, now is the time.

What Fortnite could mean for fashion

The global gaming market is expected to reach $180bn by 2021, and fashion brands are realizing the valuable potential in this. Free-to-play video game Fortnite has grown into a multi-million dollar business by selling clothing to image-conscious gamers, for instance. This monetization of player aesthetics, more commonly known as ‘skins’, has opened the door for retailers to cash in on the virtual world. 

Going forward, we expect more brands to invest in digital garments or utilize gaming to drive product discovery. We accordingly explored how gamification is being used in the shopping journey by brands like Kenzo and Nike to both increase engagement and build brand loyalty.

How are you thinking about innovation? The Current Global is a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion, luxury and retail. Our mission is to solve challenges and facilitate change. We are thinkers and builders delivering innovative solutions and experiences. Get in touch to learn more.

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e-commerce Editor's pick technology

Farfetch backs blockchain platform for luxury fashion

Farfetch is betting on blockchain as part of the future of luxury with the announcement of its role as a founding member of new platform, Libra Association.

It is joining forces with companies including Facebook, Andreessen Horowitz, Ebay, Spotify and Uber for the fashion-focused platform, which will launch at the beginning of 2020.

It will include a digital currency designed to ensure efficient and secure cross-border payments, as well as a focus on product authentication and transparency.

The move will see Farfetch add digital identities, such as QR codes on labels, to its inventory of 600,000 items, according to Vogue Business. It will be working with Eon, a startup from its Dream Assembly accelerator that creates digital profiles of physical products, to do so.

Farfetch CEO José Neves says he especially wants to use the technology for its resell business, which it is currently piloting under the “Second Life” header. This lets users trade designer handbags for Farfetch credit. The value of blockchain here will sit particularly in that product authenticity and provenance area – showing where an item comes from and that it is indeed real.

“Blockchain is still in its relative infancy, but we think it holds a lot of promise with regards to how it could assist the luxury fashion industry scale solutions to these consumer expectations,” Neves said. “Having data intelligence around the life cycle of a product is what really empowers the circular economy.”

Farfetch’s strategy for the blockchain platform will be developed by its new chief data officer, Kshitij Kumar.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more. 

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business digital snippets e-commerce Editor's pick product Retail social media sustainability technology Uncategorized

ICYMI: ‘Sustainability’ arrives in annual reports, Prada goes fur-free, a lack of female fashion CEOs

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week. 

TOP STORIES
  • Tracking sustainability’s rise as one of fashion’s favourite words [Vogue Business]
  • Prada is the latest brand to go fur-free [Dazed]
  • Fashion has shockingly few female CEOs [Quartz]
  • What’s stopping the fashion industry from agreeing on climate action? [BoF]
  • E-Commerce giant Alibaba to integrate blockchain into intellectual property system [Yahoo]
TECHNOLOGY
  • World’s first digital only blockchain clothing sells for $9,500 [Forbes]
  • San Francisco becomes the first US city to ban government facial recognition [Wired]
  • AI avatars could be the next generation’s favorite entertainers [TNW]
  • Driverless electric truck starts deliveries on Swedish public road [FashionNetwork]
  • Future smart clothes will keep you the perfect temperature at all times [Digital Trends]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • How charitable are fashion’s biggest companies? [Vogue Business]
  • The young activists fighting to ‘rebrand’ air pollution [Dazed]
  • Walmart agrees to power more than 40 stores with solar energy [Bloomberg]
  • Kering sets new animal welfare guidelines [FashionUnited]
  • The Body Shop launches fair trade recycled plastic scheme [i-D]
  • Single-use plastics a serious climate change hazard, study warns [Guardian]
  • Scientists devise ‘breakthrough’ plastic that can be recycled again and again [Sourcing Journal]
  • Why Russia still loves fur [Vogue Business]
  • This clothing brand’s new repair program shows that the future of fashion can be circular [Fast Company]
RETAIl & E-COMMERCE
  • How department stores are using services to convince customers they’re still convenient places to shop [Digiday]
  • Urban Outfitters tries to stay relevant with an $88 monthly rental service [Fast Company]
  • Walmart’s ambitious plan to beat Amazon on free one-day shipping is here [Fast Company]
  • Why online fashion retailers are experimenting with invite-only access [Forbes]
  • Klarna announces first UK immersive pop-up [FashionUnited]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Calvin Klein apologizes following “queerbaiting” accusations for Bella Hadid & Lil Miquela ad [Hype Bae]
  • Nike runs shoppable Snapchat lens to support women’s soccer [Mobile Marketer]
  • How will in-game advertising change as Google, Facebook, Snap and Apple level up? [Mobile Marketer]
PRODUCT
  • So what does Rihanna’s first Fenty collection actually look like? [NY Times]
  • PrettyLittleThing launches recycled collection [Drapers]
  • Vivobarefoot launches plant-based shoe [FashionUnited]
BUSINESS
  • Body Shop owner to buy Avon for £1.6bn [BBC]
  • Topshop is closing all its US stores [Refinery29]
  • Farfetch revenue soars [Drapers]
  • Richemont profit misses estimates on online investment costs [BoF]
  • Nike, Adidas and others call on Trump to remove footwear from tariff list [RetailDive]
CULTURE
  • ‘I want to tilt the lens’ – Sinéad Burke’s fight to make fashion more diverse [Guardian]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more. 

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Retail technology Uncategorized

Alyx introduces blockchain tag detailing the origin and authenticity of garments

Streetwear brand Alyx has launched a blockchain project during the Copenhagen Fashion Summit this week, that details the origin of its garments.

Developed in collaboration with Avery Dennison, and powered by EVRYTHNG, the tech is showcased via a smart label featuring a QR code that consumers can scan with their smartphones. They will then have access to all the information about the garment’s journey through the supply chain, as well as its sustainability credentials.

To implement the traceability of goods, Alyx’s tag uses a system powered by Iota, the German blockchain foundation. The system enables a distributed ledger technology that has no centralized authority. It means that a transaction is documented every time a product changes hands, generating a permanent history that’s easily accessible.

The use of blockchain can also help to authenticate products, or identify counterfeit goods, a priority for luxury consumers.

““Blockchain and distributed ledger technology is the future for effective brand protection. By supplying product information, supply chain traceability and transparent dialogue with the consumer, the brand’s authenticity is globally secured,” said Alyx’s designer Matthew Williams.

The new tag is expected to roll out to consumers later in 2019.

How are you thinking about your sustainable innovation strategy? Want to learn more about how we worked with Google? The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to hear more.

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digital snippets e-commerce Retail sustainability technology

ICYMI: 5G to drive AR shopping, luxury loves blockchain, cotton totes vs plastic bags

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • 5G will drive 100m people to shop in AR by next year [Mobile Marketer]
  • How luxury fashion learned to love the blockchain [BoF]
  • Your cotton tote is pretty much the worst replacement for a plastic bag [Quartz]
  • Beyonce to design shoes and clothes for Adidas [Bloomberg]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Facial recognition is coming to hotels to make check-in easier—and much creepier [Fast Company]
  • Is digital clothing the next fashion frontier? [Vogue Business]
  • Facebook gets one step closer to building your virtual copy [Tech Crunch]
  • NBA lets Magic Leap users watch live AR basketball [Mobile Marketer]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • NY to ban single-use plastic bags by 2020 [Fashion United]
  • Patagonia is cracking down on the Wall Street uniform [Bloomberg]
  • Does the ethical fashion community have a diversity problem? [Fashionista]
  • Bangladeshi government ‘not ready’ to take over safety regulation [Drapers]
  • Just how eco-friendly are lab-created diamonds? [JCK Online]
  • Printemps puts spotlight on upcycling initiatives [WWD]
  • Indian University works to grow cotton in red, blue, yellow hues [Sourcing Journal]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Online shopping overtakes a major part of retail for the first time ever [CNBC]
  • Hermès opens a new kind of shop in New York [Bloomberg]
  • Asos updates returns policy to prevent ‘serial returners’ [Drapers]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Marketers say Instagram is the best way to reach teens [Digiday]
  • Snapchat will power Stories & ads in other apps [Tech Crunch]
  • YSL’s gas station pop-up is taking over Coachella [Highsnobiety]
  • Reebok launches loyalty program unlocked as part of digital overhaul [Footwear News]
PRODUCT
  • Under Armour launches new tech-enhanced performance line ‘Rush’ [Fashion Network]
  • Lululemon set to debut selfcare product line [Retail Dive]
  • American Apparel relaunches denim with inclusive sizing [Fashion United]
BUSINESS
  • Britain’s loss is Europe’s gain as brands go offshore ahead of Brexit [WWD]
  • Kering completes luxury transition with Volcom sale [WWD]
  • Supreme breaks silence on ‘criminal’ global counterfeiting menace [BoF]
CULTURE
  • Fashion’s gender pay gap isn’t getting any smaller [BoF]
  • Anxiety is rising. So are wellness companies promising relief [Vogue Business]
  • Net-A-Porter launches biggest ever Ramadan initiative [Fashion Network]
  • Model with Down’s Syndrome becomes brand ambassador for Benefit cosmetics [Herald Sun]
  • Men are changing. Are brands keeping up? [BoF]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more. 

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business Editor's pick sustainability technology

Levi’s and Harvard University launch blockchain pilot for worker welfare

Levi Strauss & Co. has partnered with Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health to pilot a worker’s welfare initiative that will utilize blockchain technology.

The aim of the program is to better understand the wellbeing of its factory workers in real time and react accordingly because, according to the denim brand, “what’s good for workers is also good for business”.

The program features an annual worker survey, with questions developed by the School’s Sustainability and Health Initiative for NetPositive Enterprise (SHINE) center. The garment worker’s responses will then live on a blockchain platform powered by ConSensys, thus enabling a transparent and secure way for workers to share their experiences anonymously, with no fear of consequences.

It will be piloted this year at three factories in Mexico who produce for the brand, and together employ 5,000 workers.

“For the last 25 years, work in supply chains has been monitored mainly by audits,” said Dr. Eileen McNeely, director at SHINE. “A distributed system of inquiry on the blockchain that goes right to the source (workers) offers a new solution.”

The initiative is part of Levi’s’ existing Worker Well-being (WWB) program launched in 2011, which sees the company partner with its suppliers and local organizations to implement change focused on giving its workers financial empowerment, health and family wellbeing, and equality and acceptance. The program, which since its inception has reached over 200,000 workers globally, is available open-source.

“One of the aspirations of Worker Well-being is to influence the apparel industry and make WWB the standard for the sector,” says Kim Almeida, director of WBB at the Levi Strauss Foundation. “We believe that the SHINE work, in partnership with LS&Co., will provide an important tool that gets us one step closer to making this goal of scaling our approach a reality.”

How are you thinking about sustainability? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners for your sustainable innovation strategy.TheCurrent Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick sustainability technology

Arket testing blockchain tool for supplier storytelling

Arket's blockchain beanie
Arket’s blockchain beanie

H&M has quietly rolled out a blockchain proof of concept (POC) for a single product on sale at its Arket brand.

A beanie hat comes with a tag attached to it that brings up a blockchain experience when scanned. The result is a decentralized view on traceability of a single item.

Users engaging in it can learn about the story behind the product and its origins. The initiative is in collaboration with blockchain startup Vechain, and can be scanned with either a NFC reader or the VeChain mobile application. Resulting content includes where the item was made, what it’s made from and washing instructions for the user.

The experiment was discovered by a consumer who soon posted it on Twitter. The accompanying video to that Tweet has since resulted in 20,000 views.

This focus on storytelling and provenance from the H&M group comes as a time when the industry is increasingly driving towards transparency. Arket was one of the first in the market to publish the supplier details of individual products on its website, and continues to innovate to find new ways of doing so.

Blockchain is an interesting choice nonetheless – one that is hyped as a buzzword, but still somewhat shrouded in mystery for the industry in terms of understanding its real use cases, as well as the benefits it draws beyond a standard database.

A deep-dive into the reasons Arket is doing it has already sprung up on Reddit, with users speculating as to the advantages presented. As one user said: “Truth is, no one really knows the extent that blockchain will play in the future and in what industries it will succeed. Everything right now is a POC with regards to blockchain.”

There’s also a heavy point to raise as to whether the immutability of the technology – thus the idea that products can be authenticated by the trustworthy platforms on which they are being captured – can ever really be relied on for the very fact there are still human beings involved. That leaves margin for error as well as corruption.

The entire notion of transparency in the industry is one that is shifting at rapid pace nonetheless, with greater trust and reliance placed on those things being revealed compared to just a few years prior. H&M group’s head of transparency, Nina Shariati, for instance, shared on the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent, the fact that it was only 10-15 years ago H&M used to lock its supplier list in a safe in Stockholm, with only five people having the code to get to it.

POC or not, the use of blockchain is evidence the company has not only come a long way since, but continues to lead in thinking about innovations that could be useful and applicable to the industry.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Events technology

Vote for us at SXSW: Blockchain for radical transparency

Blockchain for radical transparency
Blockchain for radical transparency

In 2019, we’re returning to SXSW in Austin, Texas, in a big way… but we need your help! In addition to insight-gathering and producing exclusive events like live podcast recordings, our aim is to host three panels. But we need your vote to get us on the official schedule. Could you support us?

Our first panel is all about blockchain for radical transparency. In the post-truth era, consumers are increasingly skeptical about their relationship with brands and as a result, demanding an unprecedented level of information and access.

Beyond the buzz, blockchain is set to become one of the most important technologies required for meeting such expectations; bonding customers and brands together in the process.

But what does that really mean? We’ll be unpacking it with a group of experts, including Nina Shariati, who leads transparency and innovation at H&M Group; Feriel Zerouki, who is head of international relations and ethical initiatives at DeBeers, and Laurence Haziot, global managing director of IBM. The conversation will be led by our chief innovation officer, Rachel Arthur.

We’ll discuss how blockchain is allowing brands to future-proof their supply chains and what it takes to prepare for a landscape where transparency is the new norm.

Click to vote
Click to vote

So if you want to see this panel in Austin, please vote for us! Doing so is easy, just login or create a quick PanelPicker® account via panelpicker.sxsw.com. Then find our Blockchain for radical transparency panel here and all you have to do is click on the “Vote Up” button in the top lefthand column.

Blockchain is of growing relevance to the consumer retail industries, and one we’re following extremely closely. To get a headstart on what it’s all about, be sure to also listen to our podcast with Haziot of IBM, recorded in London recently.

Our other panels at SXSW include How streetwear turns hype into $$$ and The future of connected beauty. Please vote for them too!