Shoppers can see how sustainable clothes are by scanning QR code

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Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani walks the runway during the Giorgio Armani “One Night Only Dubai” fashion show at the Armani Hotel Dubai (Getty Images)
Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani walks the runway during the Giorgio Armani “One Night Only Dubai” fashion show at the Armani Hotel Dubai (Getty Images)

Some of the world’s biggest fashion brands have introduced a new fashion digital ID aimed at helping shoppers make more sustainable choices.

The technology sees a QR code incorporated into the labels of new items from brands like Burberry, Mulberry, Giorgio Armani, and Stella McCartney.

When shoppers scan the code with a smartphone, they will be able to see the “sustainability credentials” of the items, such as how and when it was made, the origin of its materials and whether it was created sustainably.

Customers will also be given information on how to care for and repair the item to extend its life, in order to break the cycle of fast fashion.

The Digital ID label was created through a collaboration between brands involved in the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s “fashion taskforce”.

The organisation, launched by the Prince of Wales last year, provides a roadmap for businesses to move towards “an ambitious and sustainable future” by 2030.

The taskforce is chaired by Federico Marchetti, founder of YOOX Net-A-Porter Group, and also includes Andre Cameran from Giorgio Armani, Thierry Andretta from Mulberry, Riccardo Bellini from Chloe, among others.

Prince Charles met with members of the taskforce in Rome over the weekend, where he was attending the G20 Summit, and praised the introduction of the Digital ID.

The prince said in a statement: “People have a right to know if what they buy is created sustainably and there is a responsibility to tell them if we truly believe in the shared principles of transparency, accountability and enforcement.

“Fashion is one of the most polluting sectors in the world, but this new Digital ID shows how business is committed to meaningful, measurable change: providing customers with the information they need to make cleaner, healthier and more sustainable choices.

“It shows that business doesn’t just talk about these issues, but has taken action,” he added.

The taskforce describes the Digital ID as a tool that can “unlock new services for customers while delivering circularity at scale”. The QR codes will begin appearing on clothes in next year’s autumn/winter collections.

Marchetti said it was “unprecedented” for so many different brands and platforms to be collaborating on “a single innovative solution”.

“This Digital ID provides a genuine opportunity for consumers to make truly sustainable choices when they are making their purchases,” he said in a statement, as quoted by Fashion United.

“In an industry that needs to do so much more to improve its impact on the environment, this is a huge step forward and only the beginning of the Taskforce’s journey.”

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