Tot op hede, meer as 20 brands are using Aura’s software, met oor 17 million products registered on the platform, says Ott.
“These brands are competitors in every other aspect, but they are collaborating on this technology to move this ahead faster, in the most secure way,” sy sê.
“Traceability and trust”
Creating a “digital twin” for physical products like shoes or handbags, Aura’s software compiles a ledger of information such as the material type and source, where and when it was made, and how many were produced.
Ott says this will give consumers a greater level of proof and protection by acting as a digital certificate of authentication that uses “bank level encryption” en is “impossible to fake” — foiling counterfeiters. Digital twins, which can be accessed via a webpage or mobile app, will provide more insight into the product’s origin, enhancing “traceability and trust” around sustainability and ethical issues for conscious consumers, sy sê.
Blockchain has its limitations, though — the information is only as reliable as the person inputting it, says Ott, and warns that “if a brand doesn’t have a good relationship with the supplier, blockchain will not help.”
Sustainability is a key concern for the consortium
. As a private blockchain built from scratch
, Aura says its platform uses less energy than public blockchains
. The platform also gives brands control over what information they share and keeps brand and consumer data safe
, says Ott
Aura launched its cloud-based software in early 2022. Ott says its plug-in technology will allow brands to integrate the product into their existing operations with “zero blockchain knowledge.”
And more brands are getting on board
. Designer streetwear group OTB became a founding member in October
2021, and last month
, diamond and gem specialist Sarine Technologies joined the consortium too
. Founding members contribute to development costs and have more say in governance
, says Ott
, while all members pay a licensing fee for the software services and each digital twin produced
Other fashion brands are also using blockchain tools
. Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin have joined Paris-based open-source blockchain platform Arianee
, terwyl Karl Lagerfeld’s photographic archive is being authenticated on Lukso Network’s public blockchain
Creating a digital identity could be increasingly important for second-hand luxury resellers
, a rapidly growing market
. Online platforms like Hardly Ever Worn It
en Vestiaire Collective need to authenticate products before they sell them — which is a multi-step process involving both digital and physical checks
, says Victoire Boyer Chammard
, global head of authentication at Vestiaire Collective
“Counterfeiting has existed for decades and is constantly advancing,” says Chammard. Vestiaire’s team of 60 authenticators check digital documentation, including photos, before examining each item. AI and blockchain could help to fast-track the digital authentication process, says Chammard, adding that this would aid the human authenticators rather than replace them.
“We would still require an expert to conduct a physical examination to verify all of the digital data,” sy sê, adding that if luxury brands use the same technology, it would help resellers easily access and use the information.
Blockchain could also be useful beyond fashion, says Ott: luxury sectors including art, cosmetics, perfume and furniture could benefit. In the future, Ott says the ledger could also hold information on product maintenance and upkeep, helping to better determine a product’s value for resell.
The most recent addition to the Aura consortium is German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz
, which joined as a founding member and plans to use the platform to explore different aspects of digital branding
, such as creating NFTs
) for in-car digital art experiences
“Our measure of success is to onboard every luxury brand,” says Ott.