Daily Newsletter

11 September 2023

Daily Newsletter

11 September 2023

Week in review: Digital product passport uptake soars as EU fine-tunes eco-fashion legislation

Last week resembled a traceability hat-trick with three companies announcing plans to incorporate digital product passports within their operations.

Hannah Abdulla

The digital product passport rollout news comes as the EU Parliament moves closer to approving legislation aimed at lowering the environmental footprint of the fashion sector.

The EU Commission is proposing measures that ensure longer product lifespans and better-informed consumers as part of its negotiating mandate for the ecodesign framework.

A digital product passport with accurate and up-to-date information to increase transparency and enable consumers to make informed purchasing choices is featured high up on the agenda.

The proposal, put forward this summer, garnered 600 MEP votes in favour, as it focuses on putting fast fashion, well frankly, out of fashion.

While some trade bodies have expressed concern about certain elements of the proposal – such as it could make the EU fashion sector less competitive, could increase dependency on foreign supplies and fails to recognise the difference between technical textiles and fashion – most are of the agreement change is necessary.

And several companies have already pressed forward with plans to introduce a digital passport.

Pangaia has collaborated with Archive, a branded resale platform, and tech company EON, to introduce Pangaia ReWear, a peer-to-peer, digital passport-enabled resale initiative.

The digital IDs will enable customers to scan their items and access product details and environmental impact information, facilitating circular services.

While the responsible fashion brand Nobody’s Child, is launching Digital Product Passports (DPPs) in its Nobody’s Child x Happy Place Collection collaboration with Ferne Cotton. The products will be available at Asos, John Lewis and M&S.

Richard Price, managing director of clothing & home, M&S said: “Digital product passports are the future, and we welcome the opportunity for customers to engage with the unique Nobody’s Child QR codes in our selected stores.”

Both announcements were made within days of each other suggesting fashion players are approaching this challenge, head-on, fully aware legislation forcing compliance is just around the corner.

And service providers are also proving their readiness to rise to the occasion such as TrusTrace which is participating in Trace4Value’s pilot project that encourages sustainable production, the facilitation of the transition to a circular economy and helps consumers to make sustainable choices.

TrusTrace co-founder and CEO, Shameek Ghosh says the project will allow it to explore the opportunities and challenges the DPP will entail for textile and fashion companies, ultimately helping the entire industry comply with this new directive before 2030.

What that actually looks like in practice – as in once the DPPs are fully rolled out – is anyone’s guess. Will product prices be higher? Will consumers understand and be willing to pay a premium to ensure a more sustainable and ethically produced fashion item? What’s next for fast fashion producers as a result of the rollout?
Well if the last week is anything to go by it’s clear change is coming – and fast. Brace yourselves, we could be in for a quick but bumpy ride.

The week’s top stories on Just Style

Zurich Silk Association injects capital into Haelixa DNA traceability solution

Swedish traceability company, Haelixa has received financial support from the Zürich Silk Association (ZSIG) to aid its mission of using DNA markers to create full supply chain transparency.

UK fashion sector announces £1.8m circular innovation partnership
Three UK fashion industry organisations unveil a new industrial-scale change programme, the Circular Fashion Innovation Network (CFIN), aimed at accelerating the country’s circular fashion economy.

Wolverine Worldwide sells US Leathers, Hush Puppies Greater China IP
Footwear firm Wolverine Worldwide sells its US Wolverine Leathers business to New Balance and offloads the Hush Puppies intellectual property in China, Hong Kong and Macau in a bid to streamline its portfolio.

Four ways robotics is shaking up the apparel retail space
Robotics can help address the various challenges apparel retailers face from profiling customers and achieving greater personalisation to understanding market trends and improving operational efficiency.

Signal: Hunter could benefit from ‘diversified offering’ following Baozun deal
As Gap China’s owner Baozun acquires a majority stake in British footwear brand Hunter for Greater China and Southeast Asia, an industry expert believes the royal warrant-holding footwear brand could use a much needed “diversification” to stay relevant.

Mapped in Bangladesh appoints first advisory board
Research initiative Mapped in Bangladesh (MIB), which aims to create the first map of the country’s export-oriented ready-made garments industry, names its advisory board.

South Korea’s Sae-A hails successful Haiti investment with new graduate cohort
South Korean apparel manufacturer and exporter Sae-A Group is celebrating what it calls a “decade of transformative impact” with another set of graduates from its school in Haiti.

Vivobarefoot, Circ partner for circular footwear
Footwear manufacturer Vivobarefoot and textile-to-textile recycling company Circ have entered into a partnership to develop circular solutions and will be designing footwear uppers that can be recycled or upcycled.

UK shoppers ‘more calculated, value aware’ as clothing spend pressured in August
The BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor (RSM) reports clothing and footwear saw weaker sales growth despite consumer confidence increasing as inflation remains dominant with families holding back on spending.

Traditional AI is here to stay in the retail and apparel space

Initially, retailers used AI for basic tasks, including inventory management and demand forecasting. However, its usage has now become more prevalent in other aspects such as personalized marketing, customer service, pricing optimization, and supply chain management. With the rise of ecommerce and the increasing importance of data-driven decision-making, AI adoption in retail and apparel has accelerated. The industry now relies on AI to enhance the shopping experience, optimize business operations, and gain an overall competitive edge.

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