Using RFID To Protect and Authenticate Apparel Brands

woven-rfid-labelToday’s savvy consumer is more sensitive to product brands than ever before. This is particularly true in the world of fashion. In fact, nearly 30 percent of apparel buyers believe that fashion brands and their associated logos are of greater importance to consumers, according to the Fashion Brand Index. Consumers worldwide are looking for differentiated brands, and protecting those brands is critical to the fashion business. 

     Fortunately, advanced technology enables a seamless and secure brand protection solution that not only simplifies authentication, but also makes it easy to track and replenish inventory. This is done by incorporating radio frequency identification (RFID) technology into the woven brand label. RFID tagging is used in a range of industries to provide visibility into distribution and product availability for superior logistics management.rfid-apparel

By integrating RFID technology into woven brand labels, each garment can be tracked with a unique identification number throughout its lifecycle, from manufacturing and distribution, to sales and beyond. Since it is sewn-on, the RFID brand label will not fall off and deters unauthorized removal, providing an intelligent and cost-effective solution to brand protection, authentication and loss prevention.

Inventory Intelligence

The use of RFID to improve manufacturing and logistics processes offers a number of ways to reduce costs and increase profit margins. For example, RFID tracking streamlines logistics, quickly moving items through the supply chain, including clearing customs, and onto retailer shelves. This is key to maximizing profits in a business that is driven by seasonality like fashion.

In addition, studies show inventory labor can be reduced by 75 to 92 percent, counting an average of 5,000 items per hour with RFID, vs. only 200 items using a manual process(1). This faster, more accurate way to conduct inventory means retailers are able to implement ‘just-in-time’ stock replenishment, maintaining leaner inventory levels and reducing the associated carrying costs.

RFID-apparel-scanningFrom Stock To Sales Floor

Inventory accuracy is critical to shelf availability and customer satisfaction. RFID tracking helps retailers significantly improve movement of items between the stockroom and sales floor. Faster, more accurate tracking of each item, including the color and size, helps decrease out-of-stocks and keep customers happy.

With a unique ID sewn into each garment, additional electronic article surveillance (EAS) tags are not necessary. Retailers no longer need to manually attach special EAS tags that potentially damage the item and have to be removed at point of sale while customers wait. The RFID label identifies the exact item moving through an EAS read point, allowing retailers to identify shrinkage and replenish inventory.

mersmannLuxury apparel maker Mersmann uses RFID brand labels for loss prevention, daily stock management, and streamlined checkout procedures. The woven RFID labels are produced by TexTrace according to Mersmann’s original brand design, and are sewn onto the high-quality merchandise at the company’s production sites.  The assembly process for attaching the RFID brand labels are the same as conventional brand labels so manufacturing process functions as usual.

According to Managing Director Tim Mersmann, the sewn-on RFID brand labels have the same look and high-quality feel as their previously used labels, while providing reliable theft protection. And the woven RFID labels from TexTrace are designed to resist garment manufacturing processes, including stone-wash, enzyme wash, form and tunnel finishing, as well as after-market care such as domestic washing and dry cleaning.

Most importantly, the intelligent inventory tracking enabled by RFID delivers the peace of mind that comes with overall brand protection. Woven RFID brand labels allow for item tracking and tracing throughout the supply chain, enabling foolproof brand authentication and protecting against the grey market as well as counterfeit activity.

Woven RFID Labels for Brand Protection
* Item tracking from manufacturing to point of sale
* Preventing grey market
* Identifying counterfeits
* Intelligent inventory
* Built-in electronic article surveillance
* Improved customer experience

textrace-rfidAbout TexTrace

TexTrace AG, located in Frick, Switzerland, is a leader in innovative processes and components for manufacturing high-quality textile RFID labels. TexTrace is a subsidiary of Jakob Müller Holding AG, Inventor of the first machines for zipper and Velcro production, and a pioneer in developing and implementing innovative technology for the ribbon and narrow fabric industry since 1887.

(1)“RFID In Apparel and Footwear: Store-level Success Sets the Stage for Bigger Benefits,” Edgell Communications, Inc. and Apparel Magazine, 2009

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