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.
What is Digital Identity? According to EON Group, “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."
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.
Lizdy Zamarripa Torres
Fernando Manuel Huaman Torres
Sergio Alberto Martinez Cespedes
Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM)
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, this fosters 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, this includes materials that were used to make the product, when was it created, it's size, and color. This maximizes the lifecycle of a product.
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 you have been whether in a reseller, in a retailer store, and it even identies which country.
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 various code. EON’s physical identifier is the next generation barcode. It is the first RFID (Radio Frequency Identifier) tag washable and waterproof that was embedded into clothes.
EON Group uses Azure from Microsoft to store all the data and brands.
Natsha Franck, CEO and Founder of EON Group stated, “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." Franck's Delos experience provided her with deep knowledge in sustainable development, especially in the construction industry.
Her interest in circular economy increased when she realized 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, Franck founded EON Group as a digital identity company for fashion, apparel, and retail. The objective was to utilize the internet and to connect garments with their value chain, and to provide the required information to bring circularity to scale.
EON’s impact focuses on 5 axes:
Marketing & customer experience,
Business model innovation,
Policy & environment.
EON is enabling visibility and transparency in the production line (e.g. country of origin), which includes: materials and working conditions in the fashion industry. All of 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, inventory management, facilitating supply chain overview and management. 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.
EON’s business model aims to create the triple benefit in society, environment, and economy.
According to 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 as it allows the companies to start the transition towards a circular model, it makes their product recyclable and facilitates the coordination of supply and demand more efficiently. Luxury fashion companies need this technology to better engage 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 processes easier, faster, and cheaper. Now stakeholders can trace a product, understand it’s components, decompose and give another the product a new use.
From a customer’s perspective, a digital ID makes it easier to capture the economic value of a product and certificate for the item they bought on it’s transfer or resell. 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.
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 can know the original price and materials from the product that they want to sell. This also means recyclers 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 increased transparency. This transparency allows customers, who increasingly care 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, also the country of origin and factory origin. This allows for fashion brands to be more accountable. This information is also relevant to Non Governmental Organizations 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 all man-made products which makes it's 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 and reused. 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.
Franck further adds when asked for the potential negative effects of circular economy, “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."
Natasha Franck, CEO
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New York, New York, 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 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.