Luxury eyewear conglomerate Kering Eyewear has launched an inclusive data exchange platform, utilising blockchain technology to enable assessments and traceability across all manufacturing operations.
V.I.R.T.U.S (a verified, integrated, reliable, trustworthy, unique and secure platform) falls in line with the company’s “commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainable innovation” and will allow it to measure the overall impact of its value chain. Furthermore, the project aligns with the Kering Group’s overarching sustainability pillars: Care for the planet, collaborate with people and create innovation.
The company, which oversees eyewear by the likes of Gucci, Cartier, Balenciaga and Saint Laurent, will use blockchain technology to measure and quantify the impact of all parties and processes throughout production. Every member of the group will be asked to record data on the platform to ensure they are adhering to the quality standards and environmental practices outlined by Kering Eyewear.
“V.I.R.T.U.S is a complex and challenging journey through real innovation and sustainability,” said Barbara Lissi, global head of supply chain, in an announcement. “After a three-year launch phase, we are now able to start building a clear and transparent roadmap of our entire supply chain, achieving detailed analysis and knowledge about the provenance and characteristics of each composition and each manufacturing technique behind what we do.”
She continued: “We believe that collecting and sharing truthful information, tracking down the source of the raw materials and components used, is the most consistent and respectful way to corroborate the quality of our products and their full compliance with our ethic and aesthetic standards.”
Encouraging transparency of impact and cross-collaboration
Kering Eyewear also utilised the blockchain platform as a starting point to develop advanced solutions to real-time workflow throughout the different companies, allowing every partner involved to have full visibility of its contribution. Since its pilot launch in 2018, the project now has 16 partners involved and is looking to expand throughout Kering Eyewear’s entire supply chain starting next year.
Data will provide complete traceability of a manufactured good, following the product’s life cycle from its origins to final assembly and completion.
The use of blockchain for a product-specific database allows unalterable transactions, without any intervention. The technology avoids hacking and manipulations, for further trust and authenticity.
The implementation hopes to encourage greater transparency and increase the awareness of the impact that each stakeholder has on the value chain, through the promotion of peer-to-peer networks operated under a shared project. Furthermore, it looks to strengthen cross-collaboration, a fundamental element of Kering Eyewear’s growth strategy.