Carrefour Extends Blockchain to Textiles

PARIS — French retail giant Carrefour has extended its use of blockchain technology to textiles, as the technology continues to push further into the apparel industry.

Carrefour joined IBM’s blockchain network IBM Food Trust in 2018 as a founding member.

The retailer will start with 450 baby onesies and bedding products made of organic fabrics and sold in France and Spain, with plans to extend the use of blockchain tracing to more Tex BIO Carrefour products in all countries where it operates.

Consumers will be able to scan a QR code on a product for information about where it was produced, what it is made of, how cotton was grown, including the date and place of various steps.

Carrefour, which has extensive operations in Brazil, as well as France and Spain, partnered with Nestle in 2019 to use the technology for potato puree, offering information about the supply chain, the variety of potatoes used and manufacturing facilities. It has also used it to track poultry from the Auvergne region in France and sold under the Carrefour label. New technologies have been central to the retailer’s strategy as it seeks to shore up defenses against global online operators like Amazon.

Blockchain is making strides in the apparel and luxury industries as companies seek to answer consumer demands for more transparency.

On the high end, Arianee, a French blockchain specialist, last week said it raised 8 million euros investment to further develop its technology and boost its digital services to the fashion and luxury industry. The company makes digital passports for products ranging from high-end watches from labels Vacheron Constantin and Breitling to apparel brands like Ba&sh, aimed at guaranteeing their authenticity, which helps ensure resale value, and logging ownership to help brands track products after they’re sold.

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