EON Group has Created Your Clothes' Passport

EON Group

8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action 17. Partnerships for the Goals

Overview

EON Group is closing the gap to bring circular economy to scale in the fashion industry implementing one key element: connectivity. Through the Digital Identity and using Internet of Things, EON has built a bridge between product information and the entire supply chain, making product data available in the cloud.

But first, what is digital identity? “It’s a digital twin or a virtual replica of a physical product - allowing information of the product to be stored digitally and accessed over the internet,” according to EON Group.

Once we can identify products and recognize their materials and components, it is easier to keep those products at their best use, enabling more than one lifecycle and making their use, reuse and recycle easier, faster and cheaper.

A physical identifier is the key component that saves product information and connects it to the cloud.

Authors

Patricia Barroso

Patricia Barroso

Lizdy Zamarripa Torres

Lizdy Zamarripa Torres

Fernando Manuel Huaman Torres

Fernando Manuel Huaman Torres

Sergio Alberto Martinez Cespedes

Sergio Alberto Martinez Cespedes

School

EGADE Business School Tecnologico de Monterrey

EGADE Business School Tecnologico de Monterrey

Professor

Consuelo Garcia-de-la-torre

Consuelo Garcia-de-la-torre

Innovation

Circular ID is a digital system that creates a digital profile known as ¨Digital Twin ̈, a virtual replica of a physical product, that allows to identify the products’ materials and components. The goal is to reduce the extraction and consumption of raw materials and natural resources to produce new products, to instead foster recycling and reuse of materials.

EON’s innovation has three pillars:

Digital Birth Certificate

The Birth Certificate saves the essential attributes of a product to make them accessible to all stakeholders in the value chain. It contains the digital profile of the item with the information provided by brands, for example; what materials were used to make the product, when was it created, what size is it, in which colour, etc? This maximizes the lifecycle of a product.

Digital Passport

It allows to follow up all the physical interactions that the product has had with stakeholders of the value chain. Like a passport, it can tell you where have you been; in a reseller, in a retailer store, in which countries, etc.

Physical Identifier

The information and data can only be supported if a physical asset is attached to the garment. Whether it is a microchip, QR code or other, EON’s physical identifier is the next generation barcode. It is the first RFID (Radio Frequency Identifier) tag washable and waterproof that was embedded in clothes.

EON Group uses Azure from Microsoft to store all the data and brands are the owners.

EON Group has Created Your Clothes' Passport

Inspiration

“I started EON after working in urban planning and connected urbanism for seven years (in Delos), realizing there was a massive missing of intelligence essential to bring circular economy to scale, which is connectivity. If we can’t identify assets and if we can’t recognize their material content, it is impossible to keep assets at highest and best use at all times”. Natsha Franck, CEO and Founder of EON Group. Delos experience provided her with deep knowledge in sustainable development, especially in the construction industry.

Natasha’s interest in circular economy increased when realizing that while there was an intention to design circular garments, there were no systems available to trace products after their sale and use. In 2017, she founded EON Group as a digital identity company for fashion, apparel and retail with the objective of utilizing internet of things to connect garments with their value chain and provide the required information to bring circularity to scale.

Overall impact

EON’s impact focuses on 5 axes:

Supply chain,

Retail,

Marketing & customer experience,

Business model innovation,

Policy & environment.

EON is enabling visibility and transparency in the production line (e.g. country of origin), materials and working conditions in the fashion industry, which can have a positive impact in community development. It also brings significant benefits from a business point of view; efficiencies in logistics and distribution, facilitating supply chain overview and management, inventory management. Finally, reducing waste and the consumption of raw materials and natural resources, has huge benefits for the environment; mitigating climate change and the degradation of the environment.

We can conclude that EON’s business model is aiming to create the triple benefit in society, environment and economy.

Business benefit

According to Natasha Franck “brands are moving to digital identified products regardless of circular economy”. Fashion industry brands recognize the value of digital identity from a commercial perspective since most brands and retailers are already using ID tag from the moment they manufacture their products to the point of sale. EON Group is offering advance intelligence embedding the RFID in the products to associate their data. This allows brands to better manage supply chain inventory, retail innovation, authenticate their products and offer a customer experience. Brands are investing in digital infrastructure and EON group is connecting that investment to circular economy principles.

Digital identity is relevant for fast fashion companies because it allows them to start the transition towards a circular model, it makes their product recyclable and facilitates the coordination of supply and demand more efficiently. On the other hand, luxury fashion companies, need this technology to engage better with customers, provide transparency on quality in products, hold more personalized experience with customers and offer authentication of products.

For other stakeholders in the fashion industry ecosystem, such as recyclers and resellers, a digital ID makes things so much easier, faster and cheaper. Now they can trace a product (where it has been?), understand it’s components (which percentage of X material does it contain?), decompose and give another life.

From a customer’s perspective, a digital ID makes it so much easier to capture the economic value of a product and holding a certificate for the item they bought makes it’s transfer (or resell) easier. If customers want to re-sell the product, it could be beneficial to obtain from the digital profile a certificate of the value and original price of the item. Plus, what a great experience to have an authenticator of the garment you are wearing.

Social and environmental benefit

It is clear that brands and retailers are benefiting from this innovation from an economic perspective. However, circular economy stakeholders such as re-sellers, recyclers, and customers, the communities in which garments are being produced and the environment can also benefit.

From the re-seller perspective they could know the original price and materials from the product they want to sell. Recyclers could have access to the digital profile of the product and know the real components so by the end of the life cycle of the item they could easily recycle it.

Digital ID offers increases transparency. This transparency allows customers, who increasingly care more about how a product was made, to know all about the product they hold in their hands: where it was made, by whom it was made, the country of origin and factory origin, making fashion brands more accountable. This information is also relevant to NGOs and governments who are concerned with issues such as inequality, poor working conditions and social justice.

The concept of digital identity can be scalable and applicable to basically all man-made products (from a car to a wallet, going through fashion and any other industry), which makes its impact so much greater. The idea behind it is that if any company is going to use natural resources, they have to take responsibility of ensuring those resources are returned. By reducing the consumption of natural resources and their reintegration in the economy for several lifecycles, digital ID tackles several environmental issues such as climate change, water and energy consumption, etc.

“It is a fact that circular economy will change production. What does it mean for people who are making products? It’s scary. But it also opens up all these jobs in reverse logistics”, said Natasha when asked for the potential negative effects of circular economy.

Interview

Natasha Franck, CEO and Founder

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EON Group

EON Group

New York City, New York City, US

Business Website: https://www.eongroup.co/

Year Founded: 2017

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

EON Group is closing the gap to bring circular economy to scale in the fashion industry implementing one key element: connectivity. Through the Digital Identity and using Internet of Things, EON has built a bridge between product information and the entire supply chain, making product data available in the cloud.

But first, what is digital identity? “It’s a digital twin or a virtual replica of a physical product - allowing information of the product to be stored digitally and accessed over the internet,” according to EON Group.

Once we can identify products and recognize their materials and components, it is easier to keep those products at their best use, enabling more than one lifecycle and making their use, reuse and recycle easier, faster and cheaper.

A physical identifier is the key component that saves product information and connects it to the cloud.