How Blockchain Can Help the Retail Industry in Achieving...

How Blockchain Can Help the Retail Industry in Achieving Sustainability?

By: Retail CIO Outlook | Friday, January 03, 2020

The biggest problem that today’s retail industry is facing is sustainability. How can blockchain help in combating it?

FREMONT, CA: Sustainability has been one of the apparel and retail industry’s significant problems. By churning out more clothing on the speedier production cycle, the fast-fashion sector becomes the main contributor to the problem. Without having any idea about demand in the future, the enterprises end up overproducing, which results in 12.8 million tons going in landfills.

Luxury brands as well, are the accessories to the environmental impact of retailing as their products on being burnt release harmful carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases.

However, blockchain technology can help these enterprises in enhancing sustainability within their supply chains.

Combination of blockchain and intelligent planning eradicates over-production

Blockchain offers a distributed ledger of all transactions and activities in a product’s life cycle. The data is decentralized, and everyone can view it on the network in real-time. The transparency empowers the people responsible for channel allocation, production planning replenishment, and demand forecasting to have clear visibility downstream into what customers are purchasing at any given moment.

It enables them to better plan production numbers, manufacture only a specific amount of stock for satisfying demand, and thus eradicates overproduction. With the help of geographic data, companies can send products to the areas wi

th high demand to further reduce the likelihood of unsold stock.

The following are some of the proactive measures that can benefit the retail industry in many ways.

  • Less Chemical Contaminants: Post-production, chemicals are often released into the atmosphere via the wastewater dumped to close by rivers. The wastewater comprises harmful substances such as mercury, lead, and arsenic that pose a danger to aquatic life and enter the water supply. While making wise decisions to make use of only natural and organic fibers is one solution, blockchain introduces another viable method to cut down on harmful chemicals.
  • Less Water Usage: Studies show that the fashion industry utilizes 1.5 trillion liters of water per annum, which is quite alarming. By minimizing overproduction, enterprises can control the wastage of water in producing unsold products.
  • Less Agricultural Impact: By eradicating overproduction, an organization can reduce the quantity of raw materials and fabric needed in manufacturing. In this way, the issue of soil degradation can be reduced. For example, 90 percent of Mongolia’s surface is facing the problem of desertification because of the overbreeding of cashmere goats.

The bottom line is that sustainability is vital for brands as well as retailers because it matters to customers. Due to all the supply chain being permanently logged on the blockchain with a historical 

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