Traceability and monitoring of industrial processes are becoming more important to assure the value of final products. Blockchain technology emerged as part of a movement linked to criptocurrencies and the Internet of Things, providing nice-to-have features such as traceability, authenticity and security to sectors willing to use this technology. In the retail industry, blockchain offers users the possibility to monitor details about time and place of elaboration, the origin of raw materials, the quality of materials involved in the manufacturing processes, information on the people or companies that work on it, etc. It allows to control and monitor textile articles, from their production or importing initial steps, up to their acquisition by the end consumer, using the blockchain as a means of tracking and identification during the whole process. This technology can also be used by the apparel industry in general and, more specifically, for ready-to-wear clothing, for tracing suppliers and customers along the entire logistics chain. The goal of this paper is to introduce the more recent traceability schemes for the apparel industry together with the proposal of a framework for ready-to-wear clothing which allows to ensure the transparency in the supply chain, clothing authenticity, reliability and integrity, and validity of the retail final products, and of the elements that compose the whole supply chain. In order to illustrate the proposal, a case study on a women’s shirt from an apparel and fashion company, where a private and open blockchain is used for tracing the product, is included. Blockchain actors are proposed for each product stage.
Keywords: blockchain; traceability; textile and clothing industry; ready-to-wear clothing; supply chain
This research was partially funded by Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades (MCIU, Spain), Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI, Spain), and Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER, UE) grant number TIN2017-84844-C2-2-R (MAGERAN) and by Consejería de Educación (Junta de Castilla y León, Spain) grant number SA054G18.
We want to thanks Cristina Muñoz (pattern-maker) and Jesús Fernández de Toro (designer) for their help. Some of the figures included in this manuscript belong to his Fall-Winter 2012-2013 collection. Víctor Gayoso Martínez would like to thank CSIC Project CASP2/201850E114 for its support.