The year is ending on a high note — with a big win for connected fashion.
Eon Group is an Internet of Things platform powering connected products across fashion, apparel and retail. In January, the group published a report proving the value of its CircularID protocol in its “Connected Products Economy” manifesto. Now, the vision is a reality.
With the launch Wednesday of its Eon Partner Network — including brands like Budapest-based label Nanushka; resale and re-commerce solutions like The Renewal Workshop, Trove and Reflaunt; textile manufacturers like Lenzing and Evrnu; along with resellers like Salvation Army Trading Co. and recyclers like Waste Management, among many others — Eon Group is proving it is focused on creating a viable, connected system.
“The biggest barrier to circular economy is product and material identification,” said Natasha Franck, the founder and chief executive officer of Eon Group. “If you can’t identify a product, then you can’t resell it. This vision of circular economy is not possible without CircularID.”
The Eon Partner Network built on the CircularID protocol enables brands to have “instant access” to connected product data crucial for enacting circular processes like re-commerce and recycling because, put simply, the partners are already on-boarded in the system.
“Essentially, what we’ve done is set up the data plumbing between brands and partners, and now this can be filled in,” Franck said. “We’re digitizing the products now with the brands. We brought the circular partners online, and they can start identifying products.”
Partners on the Eon Platform can use Eon’s mobile application to scan products using radio-frequency identification, near-field communication or QR codes and access deeper insights like original sale price, images, key features and material content to create a detailed, real-time snapshot of the individual garment. With the opportunity to gather data on location, resale price and channel, it opens up garments for continuous re-monetization and continued use.
The potential network effect is not to be underestimated as each partner brings in its own reach. Re-commerce player Trove counts Levi’s, Patagonia, Eileen Fisher, Rei, Arc’teryx and Taylor Stitch as partners, while Reflaunt boasts COS, Ba&sh, Balenciaga and Modes.
Brands will begin with digitizing individual lines and collections.
Nanushka, for one, will be rolling out connected products from its resort 2021 collection, delivering to stores and online this month.
“We believe in the vision of a circular economy, and we recognize our responsibility as a brand to proactively take steps toward building a circular fashion system where products and materials are utilized at their most and where connected products enhance the user experience through an increased level of transparency,” said Sandra Sandor, founder and creative director at Nanushka. “We partnered with Eon, who makes this step possible with their leading connected products technology shaping a better future of consumption and production.”
When a customer purchases a Nanushka connected garment and scans a QR code, they can unlock services and amenities like styling insights, instructions for resale, sustainability credentials, services for rental peer-to-peer sharing and more as evidenced in the brand’s first sustainability report.
Franck believes Eon stands apart from competitors for its systems view.
“At Eon, we think there’s a difference between a digitized product and a connected product,” Franck explained. “There are so many amorphous collaborations in the industry. This work has moved beyond initiative to an ecosystem and data exchange within the circular economy.”
By 2022, Eon aims to have all products from participating partners in the system while adding a growing number of brand partners to the Eon Partner Network in the year ahead.
“Next, is sorting [for recycling] based on product ID,” with a focus on bigger recycling schemes, Franck said.
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