July 27, 2021 Houdini uses trackable zippers to help close circularity gap
The Swedish brand Houdini Sportswear plans to close the loop using pioneering EON & YKK technology to connect products in a circular apparel system.
The Circular Sportswear brand Houdini is setting a new standard for product circularity – digitizing its iconic One Parka, launching August 2021, and committing to digitizing and connecting all its garments to the cloud by 2023 as part of Houdini’s pledge to transition its entire ecosystem to 100% 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 throughout the Houdini ecosystem. Connected garments lower the threshold to circular business models such as resale, rental, subscription, and recycling. It also enables Houdini to digitize and reinforce its relational business model, distancing further from the transactional customer relationships that have long defined retail.
Customer relationship a key to circularity
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 their Houdini One Parka, customers will instantly connect to Houdini and access curated use- and care-guides, service, and support as well as 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,” shares Jesper Danielsson, Houdini’s Head of Product, who continues:
“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.”
Houdini’s initiative demonstrates the crucial 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 are together committing to sharing the processes and toolkit with the apparel industry, in the hopes of encouraging more brands to digitize products and create scalable systems for circular commerce.
Photo: Dan Sjunnesson/Houdini Sportswear