Following the successful pilot in Europe with H&M sister brand Arket and its sustainable wool beanie back in 2018, COS, a high-end premium brand in the H&M family is now moving ahead with adopting and launching the use of VeChain software and hardware through the application of  VeChain Toolchain™️.

COS’ usage of the technology was spotted by eagle eyed shoppers at Taikoo Hui, a gargantuan famous shopping mall in Guangzhou, China. A community member discovered and published a report, revealing that COS is using DNV GL’s MyStory Product, which is a VeChainThor-powered blockchain traceability system. COS has made use of DNV GL’s MyStory product, which is a VeChainThor-powered blockchain traceability system. 

What is COS?

Founded in 2007, the first COS store opened on Regent Street, London, and was later followed by the launch of its online stores in 2011. The brand has proven immensely successful, now available in select locations across Europe, Asia, North America, the Middle East and Australia. Globally, COS is offered online in 23 markets and across 290 physical stores in 44 markets.

COS (short for ‘collection of style’) is a unique fashion brand that prides itself on its contemporary offerings that can be ‘worn beyond the season’. Bloomberg once described COS as H&M’s ‘secret weapon’, having been able to maintain highly positive sales figures due to its unique approach to its offerings. COS’ strategy of offering ‘timeless minimalist designs’ and ensuring highly sustainable and ethically sourced materials is a strategy that is proving to resonate with shoppers seeking high quality fashion with sustainability in mind, something that was previously seen as unachievable.  

How did COS leverage VeChain’s blockchain technology?

COS is a premium brand fetching premium prices. VeChain is able to enhance the brand’s profile by proving authenticity of purchased goods as well as demonstrating the sustainability of its raw materials with consumers. COS uses ‘sustainable fabrics’, which, to qualify means these items must contain at least 50% sustainable fibres. This is stated as a minimum with the real aim far higher in their own words. 

With sustainability one of the biggest issues globally right now, blockchain tracking technologies can greatly enhance the brand profile of these businesses. Although COS is working hard to deliver products that are sustainable, communicating and educating their efforts to the consumer is not easy. 

Is technology an enabler for sustainability? (Deloitte 2020)

According to Deloitte (2020), their research on blockchain and sustainability concluded that blockchain will transform and create significant value for end-to-end value chains to achieve sustainability goals through improved data management, impact quantification, and verification and traceability of goods. These improvements can be communicated to consumers by linking data recorded onto a smart QR code on the products packaging.

COS – Solutions already deployed

The potential of blockchain has been researched by various organizations and groups. To prove it, DNV GL, a world-leading classification and risk assurance company has already delivered a working solution powered by VeChain for COS.

DNV GL’s MyStory product allows manufacturers of goods and companies to upload unique product data and traceability information onto the VeChainThor public blockchain. After the uploading of the data, companies can choose to either keep the data internally for supply chain and auditing purposes, or use them as part of product branding and marketing. In the case of COS, the company elected to leverage the data by linking their clothing products with QR or NFC tags.

By using MyStory and VeChain’s blockchain technology, COS was able to communicate clearly with customers and promote their sustainability efforts in an educating way. Customers who scan the QR or NFC tag using their smartphones will be able to view the entire traceability history of the product, complete with pictures and videos of the manufacturing process which involves various sustainable materials.

Other ways COS can leverage VeChain’s blockchain technology

Enhancing COS Resell:

According to COS, “Resell offers a conscious, convenient way to shop for pre-worn COS pieces. Through Resell, you can purchase from a collection of preloved styles, direct from the owner. Explore timeless pieces from previous seasons, designed to last for many more”

COS could use VeChain’s solutions to greatly enhance the Resell experience for their shoppers. For example, clothing items can have an NFT (non-fungible token) pairing generated at the point of sale, providing the new owner with a token proving authenticity and an immutable record of ownership. Now, thanks to VeChainThor, owners and second hand buyers will be able to swap goods safely, securrely and without concern of buying fake goods. 

Strengthening COS’s internal supply chain traceability

As discussed earlier, COS could use MyStory and VeChain’s blockchain technology as a way to strengthen their internal supply chain traceability efforts.

Blockchain technology is widely cited as a way to eliminate information silos in the supply chain in a secure and decentralized manner, which means COS could utilize the technology to enhance visibility in its supply chains, ensuring accurate record keeping at various points of manufacturing (internal and external), and more.

Blockchain’s immutable nature means that every entry logged is accurate and trustable. COS could integrate VeChain’s technology into their existing database software to greatly strengthen their internal supply chain traceability process.

Conclusion:

This latest development demonstrates, yet again, that businesses recognise the value add of public blockchain and specifically, what VeChain can do for them in enhancing brand and bringing about advanced servicing options. 

Of course, there are other value additions for COS, including visibility through its supply chains, ensuring quality of its suppliers, new ways to engage with consumers, bespoke advertising, enhanced clothing care and more. Blockchain is truly opening up brand new avenues for businesses and brands. 

Importantly, this is another example of a POC graduating to a scaled business application which is a testament that VeChain’s business offerings are viable, cost effective and so compelling for major brands, that they are willing to up-end their current systems to incorporate this emerging and disruptive technology. 

As the only enterprise level solution running scaled operations on a public network, the future certainly is bright not only for VeChain but also for the adoption of public blockchain throughout the global economy.  

About CREAM:

CREAM, one of the main driving forces behind VeChain, is a leading strategic advisory and investment firm and pioneering investment incubator using blockchain and the crypto-economy to enable the potential of startups and enterprises globally. CREAM provides a unique approach to blockchain and the creation of crypto-economy business models. As one of the first investment incubators to focus on enhancing business efficiency with blockchain, CREAM is driving disruption into the business world, delivering tangible results that are becoming foundational technologies of the future economy. CREAM is comprised of an international team, focused on delivering real world objectives, unlocking novel value and securing use cases and applications for the CREAMethod incubation ecosystem and VeChainThor network.

References

Deloitte 2020, ‘Is technology an enabler for sustainability?’