GTRACE: Garment Traceability integrating Cryptography and Blockchain
Purpose and goal
A complete garment traceability solution should identify any product by both authorizing and recording information. However, such integrated traceability systems are still at their niche and are available at pilot scale. Hence to support industrial transformation the existing knowledge base is currently limited in 3 ways: (i) lack of open source solutions, (ii) lack of security at product level, and (iii) absence of knowhow of traceability rules and regulations beyond some voluntary measures.
Thus there is a need to create better understanding of the role, applicability and benefits of an integrated and secured traceability system in garment value chain. This should make the product-level solutions anti-counterfeit, difficult to copy and robust. While the information-level solutions must provide restricted data visibility in a decentralized way.
Expected results and effects
GTRACE contributes towards the professional development of University of Borås in many ways: (I) By strengthening its ongoing research on traceability in textiles which has already gained widespread attention both nationally and worldwide. This directly contributes towards University of Borås’ research profile in “Textile and Fashion”, and also towards its sustainability ambition. (II) Sharing results of GTRACE will further allow cooperation with external projects and innovations, e.g. UNECE’s traceability project, that will enhance outreach and visibility of University of Borås’s research. (III) Scientific outcomes of GTRACE will be used in the development of educational materials in University’s master programs, such as in Textile Management program.
Planned approach and implementation
Improving traceability has become a priority for the garment industry due to several social, environmental and economic catastrophes in the recent times. GTRACE aims at developing an integrated and secured traceability system in garment value chain, through (i) CryptoTags that ensures authentication and authorization at the product level, and (ii) by using blockchain for information verification. The project will run over one year, and includes two research work packages. The first part aims to continue developing the CryptoTag solution already started at University of Borås followed by creating a web-based application for easy industry uptake. The second part will demonstrate a blockchain based scenario in organic cotton supply chain by creating smart contract rules using open source Python-based programming.