Cybersecurity firm VST Enterprises has teamed up with an international fashion business to provide scannable code technology for clothing, footwear and accessories.
Dewhirst will use the proprietary technology, VApparel, at the point of sale to enable speedy purchasing and instant related product information.
The VCode technology behind the textile project will also prevent international circulation of counterfeit products and enable garment traceability.
Significantly, the universal technology is not limited to existing Dewhirst clients and can be deployed by any garment and accessory manufacturer or retailer wishing to improve protection against counterfeiters and fraudsters.
Louis-James Davis, CEO of VST Enterprises, said: “Dewhirst has a predilection for value, ethics and innovation, and the partnership will bring this traditional but innovative fashion brand to the forefront of modern technology.
“Dewhirst is pioneering the use of this technology on wearable items across its international network and we plan to work together to use VApparel for many more applications in future.
“We are looking forward to defining new ways to apply the technology as our partnership evolves.”
The technology will combat counterfeiting, which provides a sustained and expensive threat to the fashion industry, and results in regular legal proceedings, product redesign and lost revenue.
The cost of counterfeit in the EU sporting goods market alone is estimated at over €500m per annum.
This loss of revenue contributed to 2,800 jobs in the sector being cut in 2015. Though cheaper, ‘fake’ fashion can seem like a good deal to consumers, it is consistently of lower quality and, when damaging chemicals are used during production, it can even prove fatal to the wearer.
Anthony Wood, CEO of Dewhirst, said: “VST Enterprises is one of the most innovative businesses that I have come across, and Louis is one of the most creative entrepreneurs that I have ever met.
“It will revolutionise engagement with the customer pre- and post-purchase, across sectors and geographies, ensuring quality, safe, genuine fashion.”
VApparel also enables the delivery of targeted offers and promotions to compliment loyalty programmes and marketing strategies.