In the world of greenwashing, people have lost confidence in the messaging and information brands provide. One of the most polluting fast fashion brands today claims the right of sustainability, and it's a mind twister. 88% of consumers are wary of so-called "greenwashing" brands that claim to be environmentally friendly. That's right—88%. That's almost 9 out of every 10 people (Genomatica).
The trust seems shaken, and everything feels like a false claim. Not that people don't want to know, but no one has the time to go deeper into the value chains of the brands they use and understand the real story. People talk about using Organic Cotton but can the end customer really go to the level of understanding as to who were the people that actually cultivated that cotton? Where and how was it done? Were they paid and treated fairly? After all, isn't that also a part of sustainability?
DesiHangover was started with a mission to enable and empower marginalized artisan communities to make global products, an experiment to drive sustainable and progressive livelihood opportunities. The goal was to address our social mission without compromising modern business practices.
While doing all this, it was of utmost importance that we preserve and showcase the stories and voices of the artisans that were core to our model.
Post-purchase, customers came back to us asking more about the artisans and their social wellbeing. Taking this request, we started sharing stories and factual information on what was happening in the community. It was great to see how people were interested in knowing more about 'the what' and 'the why' behind the brand apart from having a product they love.
Internally, we started thinking about how we could share stories and information about the artisans along with the source and environmental impact of the materials behind the making of our products? All this without making it feel like a marketing push.
The team started exploring if we could leverage technology for the same, and we stumbled upon NFC (Near Field Communication). A small NFC tag, we realized, could be designed to tell authentic stories and drive not just transparency but also traceability of our value chain. Conscious Fashion is one of the core values at DesiHangover, and we firmly believe that the customer has the right to know everything (and hence be Conscious about their actions) behind the making of their products- good or bad.
With this thought in mind, we designed a new NFC-based tech feature for our shoes- The Impact Tracker. The Impact Tracker, embedded in the shoes, helps one uncover the entire story behind their Desis through a simple phone tap.
The Impact Tracker enables the user to understand real-time,
1) The exact artisans that were behind the making of their Desis
- About their wages for the last six months
- Do their kids go to school, and is there any extra help required
- Is the entire family covered under medical insurance?
2) The source of all the materials that went into the making of the Desis
- Where was the material sourced from, and what was its composition?
- We are also trying to incorporate an environment impact dashboard through which one can understand the actual impact of their purchase.
3) Processes behind the making of their shoes
- One can see how different components were made and the artisans' work behind their Desis. It is magical to see your products come to life!
This July, we are launching our new line of designs embedded with the Impact Tracker feature on Kickstarter.
In the world of greenwashing, the customer feels lost, and we want to nudge the fashion industry by turning it upside down. Being Conscious is being aware; we want to put forward a new thought in the fashion industry. If you believe in our mission, we urge you to look at our Kickstarter page and back us up by showing your support!
Link to Kickstarter launch page- https://bit.ly/3tYm7LZ
Would you appreciate transparency and traceability behind your favorite products? We look forward to hear your comments!