Many fashion brands make claims about how ethical their products are. But how can we trust them when the industry is beset by scandals and malpractice?
A company that is hoping to bring transparency to the fashion industry and has just received €1 million ($1.2 million) seed funding injection from VC firm Samaipata to carry on its mission is Düsseldorf-based Retraced.
It uses blockchain to verify supply chains in the fashion industry thereby enhancing transparency and accountability. The technology can deliver a compelling anti-counterfeit solution for luxury brands. As the technology, in theory, cannot be tampered with it can provide effective evidence of what was made by whom and when. Blockchain can also maximise logistics efficiencies for managing imports and exports.
The company says that since the Covid-19 pandemic began, it has signed deals with 40 new brands across the EU and the US. The funding also follows a previous round a year ago which was led by Düsseldorf NRW Bank.
“We truly believe we are entering a new era of enterprise transparency towards the end-consumer, given the growing regulatory pressure on compliance management, and the reputational cost of not facing increasing demands from new consumers,” said José del Barrio, founding partner at Samaipata.
“90% of Generation Z affirms that companies are responsible for dealing with social and environmental issues, and we believe there’s an amazing opportunity for a platform play in the space, leveraging on network effects between brands and other stakeholders sharing data and best practices and willing to work together for a fairer supply chain management.”