The Rise of Digital Product Passports in Fashion and Luxury world

Fashion brands have already embarked on the journey of unlocking the potential value of assigning digital identities to their physical products. 

According to Business of fashion there are millions of luxury products that now come with unique digital passports.

Brands are widely embracing the use of tags, seizing the opportunity to incorporate customer-oriented features that are increasingly attractive to consumers. In recent times, these companies have recognized the benefits of providing digital IDs for their products. We’re talking about digital labeling. By collecting all the data, we can share it externally.

This approach is seen as a means for customers to verify authenticity, transfer ownership, and access various services, including resale and repair. However, a new element has recently come into play.

The surge in demand is closely tied to compliance with new EU regulations: “Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation“, which are catalyzing efforts in this direction. This regulatory landscape is generating a sense of urgency among brands, leading to the rapid development of innovative solutions.

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What exactly are the Digaital Product Passports requirements stipulated by European legislation?

As of now, the specifics of the EU’s requirements are not entirely finalized, as the final details are still under development. 

However, as per the European Commission’s guidance, the Digital Product Passports are intended to aid shoppers and relevant businesses in making well-informed decisions when purchasing items. The implementiation of Digital Product Passports entail a multifaceted process that affects various aspects of their business. These include sustainability initiatives, legal and compliance obligations, corporate social responsibility (CSR), operations, information technology, brand integrity, and marketing strategies.

They are designed to simplify the processes of repairing or recycling these items and to enhance transparency regarding their environmental impacts.

The DPP should be readily accessible through the scanning of a type of “data carrier,” which would also facilitate more efficient checks and controls by authorities. 

Presently, the final ratification of these regulations is anticipated in 2024, with their enforcement expected to commence in 2026 or 2027. A crucial consideration now is how these initiatives will continue to expand and whether consumers, in addition to regulators, will actively engage with these digital tools.

Is the Digital Product Passports just a marketing tool? 

During this time of uncertainty and the imperative need for compliance, it’s crucial to discern the unique aspects that set apart various technological solutions.

A multitude of digital product passports solutions are surfacing. Some are primarily oriented towards marketing and consumer engagement, while others concentrate on authenticating products to combat counterfeiting.

In our view, the key factor for the Digital Product Passports to be truly effective and pivotal in complying with legal standards and earning consumer trust is its integration with a traceability data hub. This hub should be directly connected with the entire supply chain, ensuring comprehensive and accurate tracking of the product’s journey.

Having the Digital Product Passports without integrated supply chain traceability means not having the availability and validity of primary data provided in real-time and linked directly with the supply chain.

We believe in the power of data collected and verified meticulously, involving suppliers directly in the process.  

And here’s the heart of the matter: supply chain traceability and the Digital Product Passports must be integrated if you want to make data-driven statements.

By digitizing the quality control process, through the activation of a unique code on each raw material, we achieve an automatic traceability system that defines the true value of the Digital Product Passport.

This means that everything that happens in your supply chain will be updated in real time: materials used, expected quantities, leftovers, names of suppliers, etc. If the market requires a specific shoe, we know exactly the specific lot, the specific tannery and, if possible, the specific slaughterhouse, with all documents collected and verified.

We work with the Operation department, in compliance department, in sustainability department, for us, data must be collected and verified and Digital Product Passport is a valuable ally for achieving traceability and sustainability.

The potential of this new tool for traceability and transparency in the fashion world is incredible, but the common factor remains in making more informed choices and knowing the impact they have on the world. Click here and discover more.

It is important to take note that the Digital Product Passports is not just a tool for the brand, we have cases in which it is the supply chain itself that wants to be able to share information on the origin of the materials with their customers, be they brands or suppliers, such as the impact of the materials in a format that is different from an excel file.

Can we talk about the Digital Product Passports without a traceability system? The Perspective of Hugo Boss

Alberto Lampis, Strategic Sourcing Raw Material Senior Specialist at Hugo Boss.

“The purpose of a traceability system is to have an automatic system, directly connected to the Digital Product Passport. If I change materials or suppliers, it should be reflected in the Digital Product Passport. It shouldn’t be static but dynamically updated.

So, if the market demands a specific shoe, I know exactly the specific batch, the specific tannery, and, if possible, the specific slaughterhouse. Another aspect that we increasingly recognize is the need for validation. Not only in terms of how far we can trace along the supply chain but also how confident we can be in the data itself, validated data.

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