Undressing the Supply Chain: The Case for Blockchain in Fashion

Ranjit Thind, Tim Jackson

Business Case
Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases
DOI: 10.5040/9781350996014.0029
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Abstract

Heightened geopolitical uncertainty and sociocultural disruptions are having a profound impact across the business landscape on how firms establish and operate their activities. This is resulting in the global fashion industry, which is valued at approximately $2.5 trillion dollars and employing around 60 million people, rapidly defining a new “business as normal” panorama. This case examines how distinctive characteristics of Blockchain technology have the potential to transform supply chain management and its activities. This new technology has the potential to create a competitive advantage for firms and the wider industry using five key factors: transparency, security, privacy, speed, and trust. Particular emphasis is placed on firms that aim to operate a more sustainable and ethical business model, which are often the focus of increased scrutiny by a new generation of “conscious” consumers. Although still in its infancy, Blockchain technology is being explored by fashion and luxury businesses as a means for reassuring consumers about product integrity, quality, and sustainability credentials. However, the immaturity of this new technology is causing executives to debate its appropriateness and feasibility as a platform for real change versus being another marketing fad. This case provides the content for students to analyze a variety of contemporary pressures that are evolving and creating headwinds for executives across the global fashion industry.


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