Products of Change


Wed 27 Sep 2023 | by Rob Hutchins

BLE 2023 | Fabacus prepares licensing industry for incoming Digital Product Passport

The European Union will soon mandate many products sold in the market to have a Digital Product Passport (DPP). This will have a huge impact on the landscape upon which businesses operate and to stay ahead, they simply must prepare to meet the incoming regulations. Smart organisations will also view the legislation as a strategic business opportunity to create marketing opportunities, deeper customer dialogue, and commercial growth. Next Thursday, 5th October at 4:30 pm, at the License Global Theatre at Brand Licensing Europe, Fabacus will be hosting a seminar discussing their latest launch of their DPP service. Andrew Xeni, CEO and Founder of Fabacus along with Products of Change’s own Helena Mansell-Stopher and Abbie Morris, CEO and Co-founder of Compare Ethics, will share their ideas on how digital product passports, sustainability regulations and Web 3 technologies are converging to create new business opportunities, driving a new age of consumerism at retail and how brands and retailers are already participating. We catch up with Fabacus’ chief commercial officer and font of all knowledge on the Digital Product Passport, Jonathan Baker to gen ourselves up on what it all means. Hi Jonathan, thanks for chatting with us. Let’s jump straight into the exciting announcement – the Digital Product Passport… For those of us not up to speed, how would you explain the DPP to those outside of the sustainability conversation?  Digital Product Passports (DPP) are digital product identifiers that hold live data logging the entire transparent product lifecycle journey information, encompassing materials employed, manufacturing methodologies and environmental implications.  At its core, a digital product passport is a “product-specific data set” that provides information on the origin, material composition, carbon footprint, repair, disassembly options of a product, how the various components can be recycled as well as the after-life tracking of that product. By simply scanning a QR code (or similar) affixed to the product, consumers gain access to the digital passport, enabling them to authenticate and view its entire product journey, provenance and sustainability credentials. How will the DPP start to encourage and influence the kind of conversations customers and retailers are having around transparency and traceability?   The DPP will provide the consumer with the information to make more informed purchasing choices. Additionally, corporations accused of greenwashing will be increasingly at odds with future consumers who are looking for brands that are forward-thinking and transparent about their manufacturing process and committed to the planet. Fabacus – in partnership with the ethical fashion brand, Nobody’s Child - has been first out the gate with the launch of your own DPP. What does this mean for the industry?   At Fabacus we have built our DPP solution to accommodate the nuances of the Brand Licensing Industry. The Fabacus DPP is unique in that it incorporates brand licensors into the DPP framework by authenticating legitimate licensed products and giving visibility to their product environmental footprint across their Third Party licensing business. Our unique data driven DPP’s are already live in the marketplace. Early adoption of DPP’s will ensure licensed brands are at the forefront of EU compliance, but also drive consumer connectivity and engagement by combining reward offerings to the end consumer.   essentially morphing the DPP into customer activation portals. What is the over-arching aim of the DPP? Why is this important? Why is it important for Fabacus to be front and centre of this?  The over-arching aim of the DPP is to help guide consumers to make more informed purchasing decisions and for brands. Open supply chain sustainable sourcing supply chain accountability is increasingly important and best practice for retailers as more consumers consider the protection and preservation of our planet as an imperative. In addition, the DPP will help verify compliance with regulatory obligations and expedite businesses to transition to the circular economy via extended product lifetimes and repair-based business models to name but two examples. Fabacus has been on a journey to transform brand licensing through the power of data. We are dedicated to retail, manufacturing, and licensing industries and passionate about delivering trusted brands and retail customers advanced proprietary tech. and transparency to showcase a product’s ethical journey. Can we talk about that chain of collaboration between you guys, Nobody’s Child (and Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place brand) and the retail partner, M&S… how did this all come into alignment?  Quite apart from knowing some of the key players personally, Nobody’s Child is a London-based fashion label, making responsible clothing with materials that have a lower impact on the planet whilst M&S has long led the retail landscape in its pursuit of setting high standards within the retail sector per se. The collaboration between Fearne Cotton and Nobody’s Child sold at M&S was made possible through all parties having the desire to drive change, connected via a shared set of values. To quote Richard Price, Managing Director of Clothing & Home, M&S:  “We’re delighted to see Nobody’s Child, an important part of the M&S Family, taking the next step on their journey towards full traceability and transparency. Digital product passports are the future and we welcome the opportunity for customers to engage with the unique Nobody’s Child QR codes in our selected stores.” What message is this sending both the fashion and the licensing industries?  Both the fashion and licensing industries have a timely opportunity to pursue DPP’s at scale. The technology, data, regulatory environment, and consumer sentiment are all converging and presenting real business opportunities that can be realised today. While the current focus lies within the textile sector, under EU regulation, it envisioned that all major licensed product categories will be mandated for DPP’s by 2030. This has been so informative and interesting. For the licensing industry then, what’s the next step?  Please do attend the Fabacus hosted session at BLE next Thursday to see the Fabacus X Nobody’s Child Fearne Cotton Collection in action and listen to the expert panel offer their opinions and advice as to practical next steps. Thank you Jonathan, we cannot wait to catch the session next week.