Swedish circular sportswear brand Houdini is “setting a new standard for product circularity” digitizing its One Parka, launching August 2021, and committing to “digitizing and connecting all its garments to the cloud by 2023” as part of the company’s pledge to transition its entire ecosystem to 100 percent circular by 2030.
Made possible by a new partnership between EON and YKK, Houdini’s digitized One Parka is the first product to feature YKK’s new Touchlink NFC zipper pull and the first parka to be connected end-to-end by the EON Product Cloud.
Creating digital profiles for each of Houdini’s products so that they can be connected, managed and stewarded across lifecycles via the EON Product Cloud unlocks capacities through its ecosystem.
Connected garments lower the threshold to circular business models such as resale, rental, subscription, and recycling. It also enables the company to digitize and reinforce its relational business model, moving further from the transactional customer relationships defining retail. Turning the product into a communications channel, connected products open a direct and continuous connection between brand and customers. By simply touching their mobile phones to YKK’s NFC-enabled zipper pull on its One Parka, customers will instantly connect to the brand and can access curated use- and care guides, service, support and opportunities to explore and co-create circular ways of life.
“Digitizing our circular ecosystem, we are replacing silos with an interconnected system and transactions with relations— dismantling two of the biggest barriers for the circular transition. Just as our responsibility as a brand doesn’t end when we sell a product, the relationship with Houdini doesn’t end there—it continues through use, care, reuse, and next life. Connecting our products, we aim to deliver a richer customer experience and foster long-term relationships with products, community and the planet,” said Jesper Danielsson, Head of Product, Houdini
Houdini wants to demonstrate the important role of connected products in solving fashion’s biggest barriers to circular business model transformation—creating a measurable platform for increases in customer lifetime value and in revenue generated per item through digitization. Houdini, EON and YKK have committed to sharing the processes and toolkit with the apparel industry, to encourage more brands to digitize products and create scalable systems for circular commerce.
“Continuity of commerce is the mission-critical step to maintaining customer relationships and unlocking circular fashion. Together, EON, YKK and Houdini are doing just that—creating a whole new universe of customer engagement that can continue far beyond the initial use of a garment to unlock the full potential of each product and customer relationship. The opportunities are exponential, and we’re only just scratching the surface,” said Natasha Franck, Founder & CEO, EON
Without a way to connect to products across their lifecycle, brands have historically lost control of their products and connectivity with their customers after the initial sale. The partnership between EON and YKK solves these challenges across hardware and software. EON is the first end-to-end platform ecosystem in fashion retail, and YKK introduces one of the first commercially viable solutions for durable and washable embedded physical solutions for digital enablement of connected apparel with its TouchLink zipper pull.
“One of the advantages of YKK’s TouchLink technology is that it establishes a branded touch-point on the product where the customer knows they can connect directly with the brand throughout the product’s entire lifecycle. The NFC chip is molded into the zipper puller which completely encases it making it highly resistant to moisture and breakage and ensuring permanence and durability crucial for guiding the garment through a growing circular ecosystem,” said Terry Tsukumo, VP, Global Marketing Group, YKK