Very recently, the EU published their apparel strategy to support EU’s Green Deal targets, and one thing that stood out from this is the role and importance of so-called Digital Product Passports. In this blog post, I want to explain what Digital Product Passports (DPP) are, why they are essential and how brands can use this (sorry, must use this) to comply with EU rules in the near future and gain competitive advantages.
What is a Digital Product Passport (DPP)
First things first, let me explain what a Digital Product Passport is. It starts with an identifier that gives products(e.g. apparel or sport gear)a digital identity. A digital identity is a piece of information that makes every product unique and providess access to numerous online services and experiences..
It is precisely the connecting ability that's going to make the difference. Because through the use of Digital Identities, it has never been easier to connect between consumers and brands. This means many opportunities open that add value to both the consumer experience as the brand value.
But how does this work?? How can you make something physical and analog, available online? You need to add something to the product that enables it to live online. There are typically 2 technologies that can do this. One is NFC (Near Field Communication) and the other one is QR (Quick Response) codes. Both work seamlessly with any mobile phone that was produced after 2018 (this is important to understand why brands should adopt now). Consumers either scan the QR code with the camera of their phone or hold the smartphone in close proximity of the NFC tag. With both solutions, a connection is made and the product is now connected with the consumer.
So now we can make a product digital by bringing it online but does this mean it has a passport? No, not yet. The next step is being able to store specific information that is relevant for that specific product only. That information is typically product, material and/or sustainability-related and it can be made available for different groups with different interests.
Tappr enables brands to make this happen and makes sure this all works and lives online. All relevant data related to the Digital Product Passport will be safely stored in a data cloud. And is presented to consumers dynamically and engaging. We have mitigated all privacy risks and our platform is fully GDPR and ISO compliant.
Why are Digital Product Passports important and what will change?
The reason why Digital Product Passports are important for fashion brands is the fact that the EU recently published its strategy for sustainable and circular textiles (https://ec.europa.eu/environment/publications/textiles-strategy_en)
In this strategy, the EU calls for call for more systemic solutions in line with the European Green Deal ambition to make growth sustainable, climate-neutral, energy- and resource-efficient and respectful of nature, and built around a clean and circular economy.
How often have you seen products with hang tags making sutainability claims. By buying this garment, you save 60L of water. As a consumer myself, I often think “How is this calculated?” and “Is it legitimate?”. Through the use of Digital Product Passports, brands have to digitally explain to consumers with which assumptions and what method this has been calculated. This must be available for consumers to see pre-purchase. With Tappr, we make it easy to do it right the first time, with our end-to-end solution, it becomes easy to scale this technology to your collection.
How can brands use Digital Passports and gain a competitive advantage by using them?
At Tappr we believe that brands should not only use the Digital Product Passport for meeting EU requirements. Clearly, this is a starting point of a much more interesting journey.
When you have enabled your products to go online, there are many opportunities available to monetize this and make an ROI on this investment. Some of these opportunities are:
Summarizing the above it is clear that Digital Product Passports will become an integral part of apparel, footwear and accessories very soon. Initially targeting those brands that need to be transparent about their sustainability and circularity claims but soon other brands will follow suit. Because the advantages are clear and are simply too many. Consumers will soon get used to it as well and will appreciate the value it offers them.
Tappr is your partner to help you with this. Whether you want to use NFC tags, QR codes or even both. We deliver the technology and platform to allow your brand to maximize this opportunity and deliver a solid return on your investment.