Fashion is always evolving, and not just in terms of aesthetics. In a world where the way we buy into and consume fashion changes rapidly from year to year, businesses need to keep their fingers on the pulse. Demand may come and go, but to survive the years to come, entrepreneurs and fashion lines need to be smart about how they’re going to buck trends. As you can imagine, it’s not always so easy.
Predicting trends in the fashion industry has never been easy, however, there’s growing pressure elsewhere in the business. More and more brands are starting to think carefully about their supply chains. Entrepreneurs need to start thinking about going global. Above all, protecting your lines and copyrights has never been more important! Thanks to the way we all share data and ideas online, counterfeit fashion has become a major problem.
One of the biggest ways the fashion industry is taking the bull by the horns is, believe it or not, through blockchain. What is blockchain? It might very well be the future.
Fashion and Bitcoin
The revolution of Bitcoin is something that’s hard to avoid. It’s one of many cryptocurrencies – digital money – which can be harvested from a technology called blockchain. This is a digital ledger that allows people to mine their own money for trading. Millions of people use blockchain and Bitcoin all over the world. Why? It’s safe, it’s secure, and it gives businesses – and consumers – lots of extra protection.
Bitcoin is famously speedy to transfer, even if blockchain takes a long time to mine. This means international companies can exchange money at fixed rates in seconds. As blockchain currency isn’t centralised, there’s no red tape. There is no one sitting in the middle, adding admin fees and extra time to transfers. It’s helping to break down international trade one step at a time.
But how does all of this affect the fashion industry? As you can imagine, quicker money transfers mean that businesses and designers get paid faster, and more securely. Bitcoin, in particular, is also harder to crack. Unlike physical money, there’s built-in fraud protection. The fashion world is notoriously volatile at times, meaning that to make it in the business, you’re going to need a serious safety net. For many people, Bitcoin is that safety net.
But that’s not all. There are even more interesting things that fashion labels are doing with blockchain and Bitcoin. As blockchain trading allows for time and location stamping, this means trades and products are easier to trace and source so that fashion lines are able to find where their materials come from easier than ever before. That’s going to have a huge knock-on effect for quality control. It also means that speeding up production, and refining productivity, is going to get easier.
What’s more, some fashion lines are using blockchain recording to show clear origins of designs and copyrights. The industry is always wrestling with intellectual property problems. Therefore, being able to imprint blockchain identifiers is going to help designers avoid being ripped off. You don’t have to use blockchain purely for money, it seems – and the fashion industry is one of the few that’s using the tech for alternative means to an innovative extent.
Designers can also use blockchain to licence their work. This means that tracking royalties becomes easier, and it also means that processes are altogether more transparent. One of the major issues of using physical money – along with good old-fashioned faith and trust – is that things can go awry very quickly. There are plenty of dishonest people out there. By using blockchain, the fashion industry can help to protect itself against unscrupulous traders and buyers the world over. It’s a really exciting time!
The future of blockchain
More and more people are getting into blockchain and cryptocurrency but the technology is still something of a mystery. Insiders suggest it’s going to go mainstream in a few years. That’s why plenty of fashion entrepreneurs are taking risks to adopt the technology now. It’s safe to say that we will all drift towards crypto in one way or another in the next few years.
Therefore, brave designers and manufacturers are adopting emerging tech to protect themselves in the here and now. And why not? In an industry where you need all the intellectual and royalty protection you can get it makes sense to grab hold of blockchain. Let’s wait and see how this evolves in the years to some.