IBM has announced its partnership with a German clothing company KAYA&KATO that aims to develop a blockchain network for the fashion industry. The partnership looks forward to increasing the transparency in the manufacturing process from the raw materials to the shelf. This will allow customers to track where and by whom their products were made. It will also help customers identify if the garment workers were treated fairly or not.
Since 2016, IBM has been keenly working with various businesses to find blockchain solutions. The previous collaborations included improving the authenticity and traceability of the ticketing system with True Tickets and working in a joint venture with we.trade to gain access to 12 major European banks. They partnered with banks to create a blockchain platform for seamless trading by companies.
Christian Schultze-Wolters, the Director of Blockchains at IBM, stated that blockchain technology is used to help increase visibility and agility in supply chains in industries including automotive manufacturing, mining, electronics production and even the cultivation and distribution of many types of food. He added that by creating shared visibility, the technology would help foster trust among companies and their suppliers, businesses and consumers. He stated that they were on a path to set an example within the industry and offer other companies the opportunity to join them in advancing development and help create solutions for the supply chain management.
Based in Cologne, KAYA&KATO design uniforms and workwear and wish to create a sustainable textile supply chain. They have been among the first businesses to achieve the “Green Button” certification from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. It is a government-operated label for textiles produced in a socially and ecologically sustainable manner. BMZ has decided to support the collaboration between KAYA&KATO and IBM to increase transparency in global supply chains.
Dr. Stefan Rennicke, co-founder and managing director of KAYA&KATO, stated that the advancement of sustainability and digitization was crucial to their forward-looking approach. The newly launched project focuses on both transparency and traceability of the supply chain. Stefan stated that there were multiple compelling reasons to initiate the development of a blockchain network and they look forward to implementing and are eager to find solutions in cooperation with IBM.
The new move is very likely to be welcomed by many consumers. 64% of them have stated that they are more likely to buy clothing that was technologically proven to be sustainable, according to a recent IBM-commissioned survey. The new blockchain system will be able to establish a trustworthy relationship between manufacturers and customers by creating an immutable and permanent record of the materials utilised in the production process.
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