Why fashion brands should adopt Digital Product Passports

The competitive advantages of DPPs and how they unlock new business models for fashion brands.

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The fashion industry is undergoing a seismic shift towards sustainability, driven by the EU's focus on responsible practices. At the forefront of this change is the Digital Product Passport (DPP). This article explores what DPPs are, how they work, and why they offer a significant competitive advantage for fashion brands.

The fashion industry is on the cusp of a major transformation, driven by the European Union's (EU) focus on sustainable practices. A key player in this shift is the Digital Product Passport (DPP). This article will explain what DPPs are, how they work, and why they offer a significant competitive advantage for fashion brands.

Why fashion brands need Digital Product Passports

A Digital Product Passport (DPP) is essentially a unique digital identity for every clothing item. 

It's like an online passport containing detailed information about a product, accessible by scanning a QR code or tapping an NFC tag with a smartphone.  These tags are becoming increasingly common, with most phones produced after 2018 equipped to read them.

Consumers simply tap or scan the tag with their smartphones to access a wealth of information, including:

  • Product details: Materials, size charts, care instructions.
  • Sustainability data: Source of materials, environmental impact, certifications.
  • Care Instructions: Proper washing and maintenance tips to extend garment life.

How Does a DPP Work?

The DPP acts as a bridge between the physical product and the digital world.  Consumers scan the tag, connecting to a webpage with product details like materials, origin, and care instructions.  This transparency builds trust and empowers consumers to make informed choices.

Why are DPPs Important?

The EU's strategy for sustainable textiles emphasizes transparency and environmental responsibility. DPPs  address this by:

  • Verifying Sustainability Claims: Consumers can see the data behind sustainability claims, ensuring they're not greenwashing.
  • Meeting Upcoming Regulations: EU regulations are expected to mandate DPPs, making them essential for compliance.

This level of detail empowers consumers to make informed purchasing decisions based on factors like environmental impact and ethical sourcing.  Companies like Tappr  ensure this data is securely stored in the cloud and presented to consumers in an engaging and user-friendly way.

Competitive Advantage through Digital Product Passports

While complying with EU regulations is a key driver for DPP adoption, the benefits extend far beyond. Fashion brands can unlock a treasure chest of opportunities.

1st party consumer data

By encouraging product registration through DPPs, brands can gather valuable insights into customer behavior and product performance. This empowers them to refine designs, improve quality, and personalize marketing strategies.

Enhanced storytelling

DPPs create a platform to share a brand's narrative beyond traditional marketing channels. Consumers can delve deeper into the story behind the product, its ethical sourcing, and the craftsmanship involved. 

It can also be an opportunity to turn products into experiences. Leveraging the previously-mentioned benefit of first party data, brands can create unique and exclusive customer experiences that are tied to the product.

Example: Boss VIP Jackets at Hahnenkamm Races

Boss partnered with Mastercard and Digiseq to create high-tech ski jackets for the Hahnenkamm Races in Austria. These jackets had special tags that let VIP attendees access the event, ski resort, lifts, and a pop-up store, all with a tap. The tags also allowed for contactless payments.

“Consumers are open to new experiences, especially when they are easy to access, smooth and add value to their specific needs” says Dorothee Niebergall, SVP of group strategy, sustainability and innovation at parent company Hugo Boss.

🔗 Read more: Ski lifts and instant resale: New ways to use digital IDs

Product commerce

DPPs can transform products into mini-commerce channels. Consumers can seamlessly reorder a favorite item or explore complementary products within the brand's ecosystem.

Brand protection

Counterfeit products plague the fashion industry. DPPs act as digital certificates of authenticity, allowing consumers to verify the legitimacy of their purchases.

Useful Resource

“The world of luxury is challenging, we face many issues in terms of counterfeit, explaining the true story and origin of products. The Digital Product Passport is a strong complementary enabler to follow the products from the beginning to the end and demonstrating to customers that they can trust us.” – Franck Le Moal, CIO, LVMH Group.

🔗 Read more: Embracing Digital Product Passport as a regulatory requirement

Circularity enabler

DPPs hold immense potential for facilitating circular business models. They can streamline garment resale, repair services, and recycling initiatives by providing crucial product information throughout its lifecycle.

The Future of Fashion: Transparency and Opportunity

Digital Product Passports are poised to revolutionize the fashion industry. They empower transparency, enhance customer engagement, and unlock new business models. As the EU regulations take effect, early adopters will be the ones reaping the rewards. By partnering with platforms like Tappr, brands can navigate the technical aspects of DPP implementation and maximize the potential of this transformative technology.

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