And the brand is whipping up something more on the sustainability front. Rebecca Minkoff revealed its trial phase with technology partner Resonance Friday, spinning out product footprints (from mill to manufacturing to customer) for a number of key styles.
The One.Code platform, as Resonance calls it, traces resources down to each nitty-gritty detail using blockchain. Renewable energy, electricity and water use is mapped out in each process (pretreatment, finishing, drying, printing, steam processing, etc.) providing time per task and the number of people involved to boot. Material yield, certifications (from certifiers like Bluesign or Global Organic Textile Standard) and biodegradability are also accounted for.
On the initiative, Uri Minkoff, cofounder of Rebecca Minkoff, said “knowing what the raw materials are, how much water and dye is in use, where and when an item was made and its path to the consumer are very compelling insights. Today, the keenest of consumers demand this, and we feel that over the next 5 to 10 years, this will be more commonplace and we want to get ahead of the initiative.”
The go-to market numbers from the pilot reveal — in the instance of one printed Rebecca Minkoff blouse — 1.48 fewer yards of material, or a top that is 99 percent biodegradable (in an industrial environment).
“You can’t be sustainable if you can’t prove it,” said Resonance chairman and cofounder Lawrence Lenihan via video chat from Resonance’s manufacturing hub in the Dominican Republic.
While Lenihan contends it’s not perfect at present, he hopes the “distillation of every process” provides substance behind transparency claims.
Starting in January 2022, more partners will be onboarded to what Resonance is calling the “Oneis.One” garment experience. Eventually, the garments will bear a QR code that links consumers to the detailed product footprint.
Lenihan said the crossover from garment tag to QR code is the “hardest” change in the quest for transparency given that both industry and consumers are deciding how and what sustainability information should be communicated via QR codes.
With the showcasing of how a brand like Rebecca Minkoff is soldiering into relatively nascent transparency territory — of course, ripe for criticisms — he is optimistic that every day the data display will evolve.
“Some of [the information] is really useful, some of it’s not useful. But maybe we’ll get rid of that…that’s why I want to make it open-source so people can see what it is that we’re doing,” Lenihan said. “I want to show you why it’s 1.48 fewer yards of material. I can give you the math of that.”
All of it embodies the step change to “make less of an impact on this earth,” according to Lenihan, and to “provide quantifiable opportunities in the communities in which these products are being [made and sold].”
Resonance has 25 brands (Pyer Moss, JCRT, The Kit, to name a few) waiting to be onboarded onto its One.Code platform in the coming months. These developments follow Resonance’s first micro factory in New York, which opened in September.