Technology- Making the Impossible Possible
Like short skirts, innovation has traditionally swung into and out of fashion: popular in good times and tossed back into the closet in downturns, says the opening lines of the McKinsey Leadership and Innovation report. However, organizations and individuals alike have started to realize innovation both technical and non-technical is the key to generate value. The fashion industry is now banking on innovation in technology to address some of the key challenges that they face in terms of sustainability, traceability etc., Will technology be able to deliver what is needed for fashion industry?
If we plot technology innovation (measured by number of ideas implemented using new technology, or new technology itself or any other metrics that you can think of) against time, it would look like an exponential curve (Tech Innovation = Exp (Time). If the speed of tech innovation is so high, imagine the increase in the impact of such innovations.
Technological innovation is making the impossible possible now. We are exploring outer space, like we used to explore our neighbourhoods. We are trying to fight off death, and have come a significant way in that fight, by eradicating lot of deadly diseases. While the innovation has been an ongoing process, so has been the evolution of the problems that we are trying to address using innovation. That is why it so important to increase the outpace the evolution of problems, with higher pace of technology development.
An alternate view is how technology doesn’t just address the issues, but also helps the problem evolve or create newer problems. While anti-biotics and medicines has led to better and healthier lives, it also has resulted in bacteria and micro-organisms that are more resilient. Similarly while advancements in telecommunications and connectivity has empowered people and created a hyper connected world, the challenges with privacy and security is also increasing. A most recent example is around the electric vehicles, which seems to address the green house gas issues, but creating issues with the production of batteries.
Cut back to fashion – newer materials, newer styles, newer channels are addressing the basic problem of providing clothing at affordable costs to the growing population. Synthetic fibres, advancements in production equipments have decreased the prices of garments, but has created newer problems like increased consumption leading to resource depletion, micro-fibre release, forced labour in value chains, etc.,
We at TrusTrace are combining new-age technology such as Blockchain, AI/ML with more mature technology like mobile communications, Life Cycle Analysis to measure the overall impact across the value chain, communicate it to stakeholders and address the serious environmental and social issues plaguing the Fashion Industry. While we set-out to do that, we are as careful as possible to not create any negative impact with our solution. Our system architects, engineers, technologists have ensured that our blockchain network doesn’t consume as much energy as other blockchain technology like bitcoin, and our tech stack is lean to consumer minimum resources.
We are keen to engage with others who use technology to solve such problems, always making sure to understand from them what procedures were followed to ensure the technology they used did not have a negative impact. If you have any thoughts around this please let us know. Your simple suggestion could mean a much bigger impact.