Although blockchain is normally reserved for the tech sphere, French shoe brand Satoshi Studio is bringing it to the mainstream with a line of traceable and recyclable sneakers. As people demand more transparency and less waste in the fashion industry, these sneakers kill two birds with one stone.We explore the insights behind this and why blockchain technology helps heed calls for fashion transparency.
Although blockchain is normally reserved for the tech sphere, French shoe brand Satoshi Studio is bringing it to the mainstream with a line of traceable and recyclable sneakers. As people demand more transparency and less waste in the fashion industry, these sneakers kill two birds with one stone.
French shoe brand Satoshi Studio has released the world’s first shoes certified on the Ethereum blockchain, an open-source platform typically used for money and applications. Blockchain allows people to trace the shoes’ origins, supply chain, and raw materials, and the brand will only produce as many shoes as demand dictates. Worn shoes can be returned in exchange for Bitcoin tokens to spend on a new pair, and the used pairs will be recycled to produce new ones. “As technology merges more with our lives, tech and fashion do so too. Fashion is about being aesthetically pleasing and technology is more functional,” say founders Nicolas Romero and Cedric Cervantes. "People will always try to do things better and find better, more practical ways to use things."
In the wake of criticism around fast fashion’s murky ethics, people want brands to be transparent. Only 54% of Americans trust business in general, and 62% of people globally say their purchasing decisions are driven by a company’s ethical values and authenticity. Blockchain not only provides transparency, but it also builds trust by eliminating the possibility of fake branded goods – a significant feat, considering that losses from fake brands cost the luxury sector an estimated $323 billion in 2017. Satoshi’s minimal design and limited edition status will also no doubt appeal to ‘sneakerheads’, who go to great lengths to get their kicks. Luxury brand LVMH has also created a blockchain platform, AURA, that helps trace the origins of Louis Vuitton and Dior goods.
Sophie Robinson is a Junior Behavioural Analyst at Canvas8. She has a degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Manchester and always tries to deconstruct stereotypes of normality. When not questioning why she’s watching a short film or writing a screenplay.