The idea of sustainability is paramount in apparel nowadays, with suppliers doing everything they can to minimize their own environmental footprints in the manufacturing process. Customers, too, want to buy from companies they deem reputable and that align with their own ideals.
The Fision, a new apparel company that prides itself on its transparency, is using a subtle QR code decoration on its T-shirts for customers to get the full picture about how their T-shirt came to be, down to the soil the cotton was grown in.
"The legacy fashion industry is not moving fast enough, or too often, legitimately," The Fision CEO Josh Gelder told Forbes. "The technology available to us all is ripe for innovation, and we at The Fision intend to lead with speed and purpose in our product experimentation, learning, and evolving with new developments so that we remain at the forefront of sustainable apparel."
When customers scan the QR code, they'll be able to verify the steps taken from "seed to sew."
Gelder said that this creates accountability for his company to adhere to its own principles.
The use of a QR code is an interesting way to do this, but it makes sense given the little design element's explosion in popularity following the COVID-19 pandemic. QR codes obviously precede 2020, but things like QR code menus and scan points to access information made QR codes more widely used and, therefore, understood. Apparel companies have used QR codes to efficiently tell different messages over time, as the companies can change where the QR code directs the user.
In the apparel space alone, they've been used for redeeming free food via T-shirt, connecting music fans with streaming services, and even allowing soccer fans to buy other fans drinks from around the world.
The Fision's decoration side goes beyond just QR codes, though. The website has a page about custom decoration, where customers can print their own designs on Fision T-shirts.
"Your T-shirts will align your organization with sustainability, promote your content and values, [and] connect to your audience," the website says.
Using the QR code, the end-user can read that story about the T-shirts eco-friendly manufacturing journey, and will associate the logo on the front with a commitment to that same mission.
Customers who print a design on the T-shirt will have access to a Fision app, where they can change where the QR code directs them over time, meaning even more longevity for the T-shirt, as the marketing message is never out of date.
This idea has already been kicked around by other companies. But, adding the overt appeal to environmentalists, The Fision takes multiple ideas within the apparel space, and even the promotional products space overall, and condenses it in one product.
A QR code is such a minimal and understated choice, but does so much. When you pair it with a brand story that gives customers a reason to pick your products, and allow for custom printing, that's about as perfect as you can get in today's apparel world.