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Fashion brand Vivienne Westwood turns to RFID for item verification

Renowned fashion company Vivienne Westwood has turned to RFID source tagging to help improve product authentication. Based in Frick, Switzerland, Vivienne Westwood is using a solution from TexTrace AG, a pioneer in advanced technology for the apparel industry, for an innovative approach to authentication. TexTrace began delivering the tags in November. Vivienne Westwood’s tag usage has reached six figures.

Fashion retailer Vivienne Westwood is using RFID for product authentication for men's accessories.

Working with partner Eximia Srl, the TexTrace solution incorporates RFID technology into woven brand labels, offering secure protection with the genuine brand look and feel. Highlights of the solution include:

– Source tagging at the point of manufacture protects assets throughout the channels.

– Encoding and shipping RFID labels direct to a retailer’s suppliers enables TexTrace to offer unique and encrypted encoding of the RFID label to enable authentication and prevent counterfeits.

– The TexTrace RFID brand label is an integral part of the product as opposed to a hangtag or care label.

The TexTrace solution addresses a common problem for brand owners. A company’s brand is its most valuable asset, and brand protection is a growing problem worldwide. Beyond concerns about counterfeit products and shrinkage, brand owners also are being impacted by significant brand devaluation due to an increase in grey market activity, where designer brands are sold at prices anywhere from 20 to 60 percent below market value.

As brand labels have been ruled to be legally part of a product, brand owners can take action against unauthorized resellers, charging them with product tampering if needed. Garment care labels, however, are not considered part of the product by law, so RFID enabled care labels don’t offer the true brand protection provided by a brand label. The TexTrace woven RFID brand label allows items to be tracked throughout the supply chain, with easy authentication using standard RFID technology at the border and in the store.

“TexTrace offers the right mix of technology, textile expertise and reliability to deliver a woven RFID brand label that meets the exacting standards of the Vivienne Westwood brand,” says Nurben Usta, of Vivienne Westwood’s production department.

“We won’t sacrifice our brand for technology. TexTrace helped us imagine ways to use technology to enable a better distribution process and achieve the peace of mind that comes with authentication of our brand.”

“We are pleased to be the trusted supplier to Vivienne Westwood, integrating RFID into a quality woven label design that delivers brand protection from point of manufacture to point of sale and beyond,” says Sybille Korrodi, head of marketing and business development at TexTrace. “Based on our experience as a technology supplier to apparel brands and manufacturers, we have developed a reliable solution for brand authentication that is tailor made for the fashion industry.”

Vivienne Westwood RFID enabled brand labels will launch with the spring 2016 men’s accessories line. While the initial phase of the RFID project is focused on product authentication, deployment for improving logistics and inventory management will soon follow.

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