When customers purchase shoes from Danish company Roccamore, a story is included. And blockchain technology is helping make those stories authentic.
Blockchain has, through several years, been one of the most hyped-up technologies, predicted to have game-changing ramifications on par with those of the internet. Despite the hype, the technology continues to be used mostly by crypto fanatics, while the number of use cases in more established and mainstream industries and businesses is negligible.
But that may finally be changing. At least at the young, Danish shoe brand Roccamore.
We want to tell even more of the story of our shoes and their origins. As a brand, we are very concerned with storytelling, and that has absolutely been our angle here as well. But we want to back it up with credibility. Using blockchain, we have ensured that everything we tell our customers is true and traceable, through and through,
Thomas Paulsen, Head of Ecommerce in Roccamore
Where Is the Cow From?
When buying a blockchain shoe from Roccamore, a QR-code can be found on the inside of the shoe. Scanning it treats the viewer to a journey across a map, where the company relates the steps of shoe’s journey: Where did the cow graze, where was the leather tanned and certified, what factory assembled the shoe, and when did the shoe arrive in Denmark?
“It would have been a hundred times easier to create a conventional database. But we brought in blockchain to ensure credibility around the data we pass on. This way, we can truly say: This is not data we made up – it comes from a third party and is verifiable. And with blockchain we cannot just change the content of the data even if we wanted to,” Paulsen explains.
The solution was developed in cooperation with the CBS-led project “Advanced Block Chain in Danish Design” and is a so-called private blockchain. This means that only involved business partners can add data to the system – for instance, the tannery Spoor, which provides data on the leather used to produce the shoe.
“The data is collected in a joint effort between multiple companies. And with a shared blockchain, we ensure that all parties can contribute to the database without any fuss,” Paulsen says.
Technology Is a Tool
Even though Roccamore goes the extra mile to implement blockchain as part of its solution, the question is not really about technology. The primary goal is a pleasant and authentic user experience, and the blockchain is a means of reaching that goal.
“To us, the blockchain may be a cornerstone, but it is also just a first step. We have proven that it is possible to preserve traceability in a transparent and credible way. The question now is how we are going to expand the concept, creating even more credibility and storytelling around the chain of value and the legacy of the shoe,” Paulsen says.
He is already speculating on the possibility of adding points to the map after the shoe has been sold, allowing second-hand buyers to see who previously owned the shoe, and whether it has received repairs at a cobbler. That would provide further stories about the shoe and showcase its sustainability – another important factor in Roccamore’s brand – even more.
“I see massive potential for this in the long run, as storytelling and as credibility for the brand. You can add a whole other kind of value to your product. The value-add becomes much bigger, and with blockchain we can make that value visible,” Paulsen says.