MILAN — Technology is coming to the rescue to render fashion more sustainable and brands are increasingly proactive in showing a united front.
During the G-20 meeting held in Rome, the members of HRH The Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative Fashion Taskforce have committed to immediately begin digitally identifying the products within their brands and adopting a circular data protocol. The technology uses data to inform customers of the sustainability credentials of their purchases and facilitate the delivery of circularity at scale.
The Digital ID was unveiled at the British ambassador’s residence in Rome as part of The Prince of Wales’ visit to the G-20.
“The time for only talk is over. In such a highly competitive industry it is unprecedented for so many different brands and platforms from all around the world to work together on a single innovative solution, and I am delighted to say this commitment is the result of an incredible group of companies and their leaders who recognize there is no time left to lose in transitioning the industry to a more transparent and sustainable footing,” said Federico Marchetti, chair of the Fashion Taskforce and the founder of the Yoox Net-a-porter Group. “This Digital ID provides a genuine opportunity for consumers to make truly sustainable choices when they are making their purchases. In an industry that needs to do so much more to improve its impact on the environment, this is a huge step forward and only the beginning of the task force’s journey.”
At the same time, the life-cycle-tracing element of the Digital ID system aims to extend the longevity of products and enable brands to scale circular business models.
“People have the right to know if what they buy is created sustainably and there is a responsibility to tell them if we truly believe in the shared principles of transparency, accountability and enforcement,” said Prince Charles. “Fashion is one of the most polluting sectors in the world, but this new Digital ID shows how business is committed to meaningful, measurable change: providing customers with the information they need to make cleaner, healthier and more sustainable choices. It shows that business doesn’t just talk about these issues, but has taken action.”
The digital identification of products is foundational to the development of common standards for sustainable products. Starting from this QR code, each brand will then be able to decide which technology to use, whether blockchain, NFTs or others.
Described by the prince as a “coalition of the willing,” the Fashion Taskforce is also creating a permanent steering committee that will work collaboratively to solve relevant challenges, and to openly share knowledge and best practices with regards to the Digital ID implementation.