Protection Meets Sustainability in Luxury Brand

A growing theme within the pages of Authentication & Brand News™ is the trend for technology providers of brand protection and authentication services to expand the usefulness of their offerings to include traceability of raw and recycled materials.

An example is the collaboration between brand protection service provider, SMX, and luxury brand LVMH Métiers d`Art on a series of R&D projects aimed at improving traceability for raw materials and to enable efficient sorting for recycling in the luxury fashion industry.

Australian-based SMX specialises in solutions for the product authentication, anti-counterfeit, track and trace and recycling markets. Its core technology is a track & trace solution utilising a sub- molecular hidden marker system that can permanently and irrevocably mark solids, liquids or gas at multiple points in the supply chain, along with a unique reader and a blockchain record providing transparency and authentication.

The objective of the series of projects with LMVH is to enable the complete traceability of origin of all materials and subsequently lay the foundations for a tangible and measurable transition to the sustainable circular economy through an in-depth knowledge of LVMH’s supply chain. The first project is expected to be completed in early 2023.

Commenting on the partnership, Haggai Alon, CEO and founder of SMX, said: ‘leading luxury and lifestyle brands are actively moving from linear to circular business models.’

SMX’s technology is designed so that, with the same integrated digital reader, the user is able to read the embedded data across all the different types of materials and products in real time without any need for extensive lab tests.

The technology allows for the complete tracing of products to verify ethical sourcing, the efficient sorting of materials for waste and provide full transparency of the value chain from source through the manufacturing processes, to retail and recycle/reuse.

The fashion industry produces an estimated 92 million tonnes of textile waste each year, and this number is expected to grow by 60% by 2030. In December 2020, SMX launched the Fashion Sustainability Competence Centre to try and slow this trend and enable brands to become more efficient and environmentally friendly. Using SMX’s tagging technology and digital blockchain platform, fashion brands can efficiently sort, recover and recycle unwanted or discarded product raw materials.

Effectively reducing the amount of virgin material required, the amount sent to landfills, and a company’s carbon footprint will help meet the environmental, social and governance (ESG) expectations of consumers and stakeholders.

According to Haggai Alon, ‘luxury brands use SMX’s white-label B2B products to create compelling stories that combine tangible sustainable ESG practices with transparent traceability strategies to create profitable, lifelong relationships with customers’.