The founder of this platform wants to make it possible for you to trust the sustainability claims the products you buy are making.
During his time in the textile industry, Bilal Bhatti saw the dirty reality of the fashion industry. Despite many factories claiming to follow regulations and promising “fancy certifications”, he realised that it was a lot cheaper for factories to “buy” certificates than to follow the sustainability measures necessary to be given them legitimately. he saw extreme exploitation and waste being dumped into rivers whilst consumers were being fed information about cleaner factories and better working conditions.
In order to fight corruption, Bhatti created PaperTale, a platform that uses blockchain to allow consumers to confirm exactly where their product has come from and empower them to make informed decisions. “The technology can be implemented in basically all products,” he says, “giving the consumers the power to make informed buying decisions about everything, which itself would push companies to act more sustainable instead of just saying they are with claims that can’t be verified”.
PaperTale’s proof of concept has a smart tag that, once scanned using your smartphone, provides you with an insight into the lives of the workers that made your product as well as a real-time environmental footprint all verified by blockchain technology.
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But what is blockchain?
Imagine there is a spreadsheet in which everyone writes down their part in the process of making a product. No one person is in charge and everyone involved has a complete copy of this spreadsheet to which they can add their own information but no one can change it. Information can only be added in chronological “blocks” and is considered essentially impossible to change once added thanks to complex cryptographic security. This is, in simple terms, how blockchain works.
You might have heard of the technology during the recent cryptocurrency boom where so far incorruptible currencies like bitcoin began to gain popularity across the world. Bhatti has found another innovative way to use this secure information system; to help you make responsible choices when you buy.
“We wanted to create a more or less ‘in-corruptible’ platform, where the data could actually be confirmed for consumers to see,” he explains “ blockchain is the most secure way to confirm information and transactions.” The founder hopes that, by making certification truly verifiable, the technology behind PaperTale will encourage businesses to stop thinking solely of their profit and start thinking about implementing real, sustainable changes.
This is about more than just catching out companies making false claims; Bhatti is optimistic that the platform can inspire people to seek out transparency. “We want to create a community of people who wants a better life for their grandkids, who realize that we are all able to make a difference as long as we come together,” he says, “PaperTale is our attempt to create such a community and the potential to further develop the technology is almost endless.”
PaperTale is launching a kickstarter on 13th November and you can find out more about this and the project on their website.