Dr. Amy Benstead, Senior Lecturer in Fashion Management at The University of Manchester, recently conducted an engaging masterclass during her visit to the head office of a major fashion retail group in Dubai. The session focused on advancing supply chain transparency within the fashion industry through blockchain technology. Attended by almost 20 senior management employees from the organization's supply chain sector, the masterclass delved into the challenges of supply chain transparency, introduced blockchain as a viable solution, and discussed potential use cases. Dr. Benstead shared the latest research findings and real-world applications, providing valuable insights into the evolving landscape of the fashion industry.
In her masterclass, Dr. Benstead covered a range of issues starting with the fundamentals of climate justice and social justice and from the basis that there can be no sustainable fashion without fair pay. She posed the question: What in your view, are the core challenges that need to be solved to achieve a sustainable supply chain in the fashion industry?
Amy then introduced Blockchain and its potential to improve transparency and traceability for all parties involved and with a positive impact on the triple bottom line – profit, people, planet. Blockchain technology impacts profit through the reduction of operational costs by improving efficiency and reducing repetitive tasks; it also enhances competitiveness through the promotion of sustainability credentials. Blockchain impacts people by providing transparency on labour conditions and offers the ability to verify fair payment and working conditions. It impacts planet through providing transparency and certification on information relating to the carbon footprint, water and chemical use.
Dr. Amy Benstead comments: “This was a great opportunity to give a masterclass at one of the largest omni channel retailers in the Middle East. It was a very interactive session with the company’s Heads of Finance, Supply Chain and Sourcing all in attendance. We discussed the potential of Blockchain to enhance transparency across the supply chain in the Fashion industry, as well as considering some of the challenges that need to be addressed, such as supply chain complexity, lack of transparency, and cost implications, among others. I was able to present some of my research on incentivising transparency and share research on the practical implications of blockchain technology.”