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Kering Eyewear launches blockchain platform to trace environmental impact

Camilla Rydzek
25 November 2021

Kering Eyewear has launched a blockchain platform that tracks the environmental impact of its eyewear manufacturing operations across its own supply-chain and that of its partners.

The platform is called V.I.R.T.U.S, short for Verified, Integrated, Reliable, Trustworthy, Unique and Secure data exchange and uses blockchain technology to assess and trace the environmental impact of the manufacturing of its eyewear products for brands including Gucci, Balenciaga and Chloé.

The project aligns with the conglomerate's larger sustainability objectives and promotes a "network in which every player will be part of the positive change, working more closely and transparently under a shared vision of trust and respect," said Kering Eyewear.

A pilot of the platform was launched in 2018 with just 6 partners and has now extended to include 16, as well as their respective contractors and sub-contractors.

In the next year the project aims to evolve even further and include all of Kering Eyewear's key suppliers which number over 20 and are located across Italy and abroad.

Every partner in Kering's network will be called to record data and information related to their operation's impact, ensuring that in each stage the partners comply with the company's quality standards and to the environmental, social and ethical practices.

Data will be uploaded to the centralized, distributed blockchain ledger, allowing an exact, complete and reliable overview to emerge detailing the product's journey through oftentimes fragmented supply-chains, starting with the origins of its raw materials and components, to processing, final assembly and related certifications.

Barbara Lissi, Kering Eyewear’s Global Head of Supply Chain commented: "V.I.R.T.U.S. is a complex and challenging journey through real innovation and sustainability. After a 3-year launch phase, we are now able to start building a clear and transparent roadmap of our entire supply chain, achieving detailed analysis and knowledge about the provenance and characteristics of each composition and each manufacturing technique behind what we do."

Daniel Bellini, Kering Eyewear’s Global Head of IT & Planning added: “Fostering innovation means adapting state-of-the-art technology to the philosophy of collaboration and sharing at the heart of our company. Our blockchain-based method ensures the protection, security and authenticity of every transaction providing complete identifiability and traceability of our products and partners through verifiable and immutable data."

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