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Unlocking Transparency: The Power of Digital Product Passports in Fashion



In today’s discourse on sustainability within the fashion industry, the term “Digital Product Passport” (DPP) has emerged as a pivotal concept. But what exactly does it entail, and how does it contribute to the overarching goals of transparency and efficiency?


The Fashion Industry’s Environmental Imperative


Proposed by the European Commission, the Green Deal is a plan for Europe’s sustainable development and growth. By 2030, the Green Deal aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 55%, and by 2050, make Europe the first climate-neutral continent. It’s no secret that the fashion industry bears a significant burden on the environment. From production to disposal, the sector contributes to pollution and waste at alarming rates. Recent data reveals that approximately 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions stem from fashion, with nearly three-fifths of clothing ending up in landfills within a year of production. This excess stock often consists of garments that are still new with tags, underscoring the urgent need for change.


As regulatory landscapes evolve, with initiatives like the EU Due Diligence Law and the New York Fashion Pact gaining traction, the fashion industry faces a pivotal moment. The proposed EU Digital Product Passport regulation signals a future where DPPs may become mandatory for EU-based companies. This legal framework underscores the urgency for brands to embrace sustainable practices and integrate DPPs into their operations.


What Information will the DPP Look to?


Digital Product Passports represent a paradigm shift in transparency and accountability within the fashion supply chain. These smart tags, typically in QR, NFC, or RFID formats, offer consumers unprecedented access to the garment’s journey. Originating from the European Commission’s push for eco-design, DPPs encapsulate detailed information on sourcing, production methods, costs, environmental impact, and recyclability. They empower consumers to make informed choices and hold brands accountable for their sustainability commitments. Key requirements and features of the DPP include:


Comprehensive Information: Encompasses a wide range of critical product information.

Adherence to Eligibility Criteria: Must meet specific eligibility criteria including product durability, circularity level, resource intensity, waste generation, and overall environmental footprint.

Performance Requirements: Must meet performance requirements without compromising product functionality, safety, affordability, or competitiveness.

Key Areas Covered: Includes product identification, supply chain information, materials and components specifications, energy efficiency metrics, product lifecycle insights, repairability and durability assessments, end-of-life management guidelines, digital services and updates, certifications, and labels.

Integration into Business Operations: Crucial for businesses aiming to integrate DPPs into their operations, ensuring compliance with regulatory standards and promoting transparency throughout the product life cycle.

Connection with Data Carrier: Must be connected with a data carrier and visibly displayed on the product or packaging.

Compliance with ISO Standards: Must comply with ISO 15459:2015 certification and derive data from open standards.

Machine-readable: Must be machine-readable for accessibility and ease of use.

Data Integrity and Security: Storage, encryption, and tracking of DPP information possibly using blockchain technology to guarantee data integrity and accessibility.

Informed Decision-Making: Enables informed decision-making across all stakeholders involved in the supply chain. 


The Role of Digital ID: Clarifying the Landscape


Often used interchangeably with DPPs, Digital IDs play a crucial role in tracing the origin of products, and while they are related, there are also substantial differences. The Digital Product Passport is an archive with complete information including the history of suppliers, the indications of costs, environmental impact, and also suggestions on how to dispose or recycle the product itself, while the Digital ID refers only to a single element, or individual components or materials. This distinction is vital as brands navigate the implementation of these technologies to enhance transparency and traceability. 


Vestis Labs: Spearheading Accessible Sustainable Solutions


Vestis Labs is diligently working on introducing the Digital Product Passport (DPP) feature to our product development platform in a manner that not only streamlines processes for fashion brands but also enhances transparency and sustainability throughout the supply chain. We provide integrated digital ID features preparing brands for the upcoming DPP requirements. Contact us at [email protected] to find out more about how we can help.


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