Microsoft and EON partner to bring 400 million products online by 2025 through a collaboration that introduces an industry-wide digital foundation for a connected and circular economy across fashion, apparel and retail. EON's CircularID™ Protocol and EON’s Connected Products Platform powered by Microsoft Azure make it possible for brands and retailers to introduce deeper and more dynamic relationships with their customers, new revenue streams and business models, and a sustainable relationship with our planet. Connected Products unlock unprecedented customer insight and competitive advantage and enable brands to monetize and scale new circular business models such as rental, resale, digital wardrobing, peer-to-peer exchange, styling services, reuse and recycling.
The long-term potential of the EON’s Connected Products platform and CircularID™ Protocol is immense, with the growth of consumer applications, the value of the Connected Product to customers, and data-generated becoming key to competitive advantage for brands and retailers. In partnership with Microsoft, Eon is solving some of industry’s biggest data and operational scale challenges, enabling Connected Products to operate side-by-side with existing systems, such that brands and retailers can easily and efficiently digitize products at scale.
“While the fashion and retail industry aspire to a shared vision of a circular and digitally forward future, fundamental challenges to the business models and decades-old digital infrastructure makes systemic shift into scaled customer-centric and circular business seemingly impossible”, informs EON Founder and CEO Natasha Franck. “Over the past few years our team at EON has been working with Microsoft and leadership across the industry to develop the industry-wide digital foundation and shared language for Connected Products — essential to make this shared vision possible across industry and at scale.”
The introduction of Connected Products at scale across industry overturns the traditional fashion trope of “take, make, waste” by providing brands the capabilities to manage, control and monetize these products through new circular business models. Historically, selling two products has always been more profitable than selling one — putting sustainability and business at odds in fashion retail. With Connected Products, brands are able to generate ongoing revenue from products, meaning they no longer need to rely on the production and sale of more new products as their sole means for generating revenue. EON’s vision of a Connected Product systems redefines growth and opportunity for brands and retailers, decoupling it from resource consumption.
The approach aims to give each and every garment in the world a digital identity, or a “digital twin”, giving each item its own unique digital fingerprint. EON manages this digital profile, complete with identification data and transparency information, and embeds the data into the garment with a digital identifier that enables the garment to be connected for its entire lifecycle: from production, through sale, use, reuse and recycle. Eon digitizes products in alignment with the CircularID™ Protocol, making it possible for brands and retailers to access 360 visibility of a product’s entire lifecycle and identify and manage products through circular business models or partner networks. Once digitized, products can communicate, sharing and accessing data from customers, partners, and applications throughout the lifecycle.
“We’re very excited to announce this new and ongoing partnership with EON — one that support’s Eon’s mission to reshape the fashion industry with the potential to be adopted by all industries”, says Maruschka Loubser, Director of Strategic Brand Partnerships at Microsoft. “The EON platform is a fantastic example of how innovation driven tech partnerships enables the use of Microsoft tech offerings in new and interesting ways while supporting the creatives that transform industries for a more disruptive and sustainable future.”
The Connected Products opens up an ongoing two-way communication channel between brands and customers – making it possible for brands and retailers to shift away from purely transactional relationships with their customers — relationships that end once the transaction is complete — and into something truly transformational. Brands are able to communicate with the customer long-after point of sale — sharing everything from resale instructions to styling insights, while also allowing the customer to communicate back to the brand — provide feedback, share photos, or reorder favorites. These meaningful long-term relationships with customers are built on mutual benefit and two-way communication, driving brand loyalty and engaged customer base.
EON's current CircularID™ pilot program blueprints a Connected Product Ecosystem across the fashion industry that seeks to reconfigure the fashion business, engage consumers, and address our global environmental crises. EON’s Internet of Things platform powered by Microsoft is one that could positively upend the business of fashion — channeling the disruptive potential of technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain to drive industry’s transition to a circular economy. For the first time, Connected Products and the CircularID™ Protocol are creating a scenario where it is possible for brands and retailers to achieve the vision of circular economy — by redefining growth, and separating it from resource consumption.