Fashion-centric digital identity platform Eon is building the case for connectivity, releasing its first “Connected Products Economy” report today with input from members such as Closed Loop Partners, H&M Group, Target, PVH Corp. and more.
In a linear economy, intelligence ends once products are sold and delivered. “In a Connected Products Economy, it is possible to monetize product and material value across the circular life cycle,” Natasha Franck, chief executive officer and founder of Eon Group, said in the report.
The CircularID Protocol Pilot Version is introduced in the report, identifying a “shared language for industry to adopt for connected products,” leveraging existing standards like the GS1 digital link standard. The main components include a digital birth certificate, digital passport and physical identifier — e.g. RFID, NFC, QR Code, UPC barcode, etc.
Brand partners to Eon’s CircularID Initiative (including H&M) will roll out product trials this year, while its first commercially viable product will be revealed in 2021.
A cross-section of industry authorities — including Accenture, Microsoft, GS1 U.S., Waste Management, The Renewal Workshop and IDEO — joined the CircularID Initiative in July. While it’s still a pre-market technology, the digital identity platform has benefited from recent validation at scale in the space.
Last November, Ralph Lauren revealed the rollout of digital product identities across its entire product line in a partnership between Evrythng, an Internet of Things software platform, and Avery Dennison, a global materials science and manufacturing firm. Just shy of 200 million product items will be digitized.
Prior to this, the technology players (along with IOTA Foundation) unwrapped a small pilot with the Matthew Williams-founded, luxury fashion brand Alyx. A core difference between Eon and its competitors leveraging IoT technology is that the company is focusing solely on the fashion, apparel and retailing industries, as Franck shared with WWD prior to the report being released.
Along with revealing the entire life cycle from production all the way to resale and rental with real-time data, if a brand so chooses, digital identities unlock countless other benefits, which play into a larger push for sustainability and traceability in the industry.
“Complete visibility and traceability of connected products within the supply chain not only supports genuine Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives but allows for a flexible and responsive distribution model,” Hannah Kamaie, managing director of C Space, said in the report.
Kamaie, who prior to her current role advising Eon was an international M&A attorney and an executive at Inditex, highlighted benefits like holistic view of the supply chain, responsive distribution, reduction in inventory excess and sustainable manufacturing unlocked by connected products.
“The paths to success are many and varied, but a consistent thread that unites successful modern businesses is the ability to effectively access and utilize data,” Kamaie reiterated.
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