The Future of Blockchain Fashion

The Future of Blockchain Fashion

Written by
Esha Datanwala
Date published
April 18, 2023

Luxury fashion has been working in stealth for years to formalize and maximize its blockchain involvement. Meet The Aura Blockchain Consortium (@AuraConsortium) - the group of luxury brands defining the future of blockchain fashion: 🧵⬇️

High-level overview: The Aura Blockchain Consortium is a non-profit that attempts to address the shared challenges in the luxury of communicating authenticity, responsible sourcing and sustainability in a secure digital format. https://t.co/92bDrkrknJ

Let's take it back to 2019. In May'19, @ConsenSys announced a partnership with @LVMH (the largest luxury goods conglomerate) & @Microsoft to build AURA: a platform for consumers to access product history & proof of authenticity of luxury goods.

The technical idea behind AURA was to deploy powerful product tracking & tracing services, based on Ethereum blockchain technology & using Microsoft Azure.This was LVMH's follow-up to their traceability program.

The tracking is simple: Each product is recorded on the shared ledger with info about design, raw materials, & manufacturing. Once sold, the AURA certificate reflects all data and can be tracked through the secondary market.

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Let's fast-forward to 2021:In April'21, the Aura Blockchain Consortium was formalized with founding members @LVMH@Prada, & Richemont.The non-profit declared itself to be investing in technologies & innovative thinking to build a virtuous future for the luxury industry.

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The luxury blockchain platform is multi-dimensional and beneficial for both, customers and brands.https://t.co/7PldAYBdk9

The consortium model for AURA makes it so that any luxury brand can opt into full membership. The technology is accessible, yet flexible, thus setting the stage to dominate the luxury market.

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The Consortium performs 3 primary functions:

1/ Certify

2/ Connect

3/ Empower

1/ Aura allows brands to authenticate their products on the decentralized, immutable blockchain thereby deploying a level of transparency not seen before in luxury fashion.This includes information about raw materials, manufacturing know-how, & history of ownership.

Each item is lined with either an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) or NFC (Near Field Communication) chip, which can then be scanned by authorized parties to reveal its history. https://t.co/YmUBp5CG0h

2/ The idea is that this transparency will allow brands to develop closer & deeper connections with their customers digitally, & weave in virtual worlds and communities.

3/ Together, these components bring an unprecedented level of circularity of information, data ownership, & privacy to the luxury industry.Ultimately, their goal is to improve the buying, owning, selling, reselling, & recycling experience of luxury goods.

A few months later, the consortium was joined by the OTB Group (which includes @DIESEL@Margiela, & @marniofficial), and @MercedesBenzhttps://t.co/v5UOsvvcNH

Considering their blockchain proximity, let's take a look at their governance model.They claim to have a "participative, non-controlling governance model" for the business with a "General Assembly" as the voice of all members.

Brands can join Aura with membership at the General Assembly level, through Board membership, or in Committees.They also welcome non-member partners like trade associations, industry standards bodies, governmental organizations, and/or fin/tech/infra ecosystem partners.

Their current Board of Directions includes individuals from @Prada@LVMH@MercedesBenz@Cartier@vancleefarpels, & @Makeupforever.A complete board will have up to 11 members, where each Founding Member can't have more than 1 rep on the board.

Let's look at Aura's operations and functionality.The platform uses @ConsenSys' Quorum, which is an open-source protocol layer that enables enterprises to leverage Ethereum for their private or public production blockchain applications.

Quorum maintains a common ledger that can only be updated, block after block, by the network consensus that members provide.Each Brand Stack manages at least two Quorum nodes and ensures their liveness.

The Aura Blockchain Consortium currently has 20+ million digital assets on its platform.In addition to the blockchain component, Aura offers off-chain services & front-end applications.Here's a better look at the entire stack:

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In January 2022, Aura launched Aura SaaS for luxury brands to assist with day-to-day business operations including supply chain, customer service, marketing, manufacturing, sustainability, purchasing, logistics, & legal.

Most notably, it includes a no-code smart contract generator & white-label front-end interfaces & web pages to easily write, read and display information from the Aura Blockchain.

Aura is picking up steam very rapidly.Just last month, luxury brand Loro Piana announced they would be leveraging Aura’s solutions to issue a digital certificate with the purchase of new garments from The Gift of Kings® collection. https://t.co/mcsrXGcH0B

The luxury fashion industry has embraced the blockchain in their attempt to solidify proof of authenticity & tug on emotional attachment.It would be remiss to ignore this sector when exploring the integrating of blockchain technology into traditional industries.

From Shilpa Dhamija at @JingDaily:https://t.co/u7RMZa35hw

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Major thanks to @ethanweii@nonieengel, and @mtangarova2 for their valuable feedback!

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