HIBISCUS WHITEPAPER 001
Mission: Build an open source end-to-end process for fully-transparent + community-owned apparel production.
Build Decentralized Community Owned Apparel
Leverage in-house production supply chain + tech infrastructure to release Hibiscus’s first community-curated collection - becoming a community-directed decentralized apparel brand.
Create Fashion Legos = Fork-able Garment Library
Create open source, end-to-end apparel production supply chain + tech infrastructure that allows creators to easily create new garments on existing bases - via on chain portfolios that can forked, remixed, and recombined.
Enable the Fashion Creator Economy
Build cryptographic profit sharing into our fashion lego tooling - enabling the creator economy for apparel production by retaining and redistributing the value created in making and wearing apparel.
Enable Proof of Ethical Production
Eventually, we want to create a system of producing clothes that uses consensus-driven blockchain technology to verify products are being made ethically.
Current Landscape of Apparel Production
The fashion industry is growing exponentially - without any signs of slowing down.
The apparel and luxury market reached $1.9 trillion globally in 2019 - and is expected to surpass $3 trillion in the next decade.
However, the distribution of returns in the fashion industry is heavily skewed. This is because a traditional brand's business model is based around maximizing profit - by minimizing value returned to stakeholders.
Old System vs. New System
The traditional fashion industry is rooted in the exploitation of:
- The Environment
Traditional Fashion = Humanitarian Exploitation
Slave, child, and sweatshop labor are all common in the supply chain of traditional brands. These human rights violations are well-documented but suppressed via marketing and PR.
The biggest offenders (like Nike and H&M) have been put under pressure to improve their behavior but there is no way (yet) to verify if garments are being produced ethically.
Traditional Fashion = Creative Exploitation
Talented young designers generate massive value for brands - often without compensation. And even when they are compensated, they are not paid relative to the value they create.
A successful, popular design will earn a brand millions, yet the designer behind it will see none of these earnings. Instead, their designs become the IP of the brand.
Traditional Fashion = Environmental Exploitation
Fashion brands intentionally leverage planned obsolescence and instill an increasingly consumerist mindset based on overconsumption to feed their continued need for profit.
When overconsumption is encouraged, true sustainability is impossible to achieve.
Brands Obscure Exploitative Practices
“So really it comes down to this, there’s an anonymity in the supply chain.
****We don’t really know who, what, where and why —
****we know why we’re consuming it, we wanna consume it - but for the consumer it is virtually impossible to know whether a product was manufactured in safe conditions.”
— Rebecca Burgess, Rebecca Burgess: Regenerative Textiles and Fibershed (8:24)
Today, the world’s biggest, most visible brands go to great lengths to obscure their fundamentally exploitative business practices via marketing.
They pour hundreds of millions into assuaging consumer guilt via manipulative messaging - without addressing the negative dynamics that make this type of marketing necessary in the first place.
Beloved brands such as Nike, The North Face, and Patagonia churn out marketing campaigns convincing consumers that buying their products is equated with supporting anti-racism, ethical production, and sustainability.
At the same time:
- Executive leadership teams of these brands remain largely white.
- Only ~1% of garments produced worldwide are done so by workers being paid living wages in their home countries.
- Most growth is created by a rate of consumption that no amount of recycling will offset.
And because we still aren't able to truly verify whether garments are being produced ethically - everyone in the industry is put in a compromising position:
A designer based in Los Angeles may be complicit in the exploitation and brutalization of a child laborer in Bangladesh... though they may never know it.
A participant-owned system of producing clothes that uses consensus-driven blockchain technology to verify that products are being made ethically.
Reinvention of Apparel Production via "Proof of Non-Slave Labor"
Building this new system will lift up creators and crafters - which can force traditional apparel brands into an "arms race" towards ethical production by driving adoption of a new industry standard of cryptographic verification in the supply chain.
The traditional system of apparel production is fundamentally exploitative and requires reinvention. We view crypto technologies and philosophies, from fractional ownership, to tokenized licenses, to smart contracts, as the best tools for this job.
Traditional brands benefiting from this status quo of exploitation will never willingly give up their profits for a more ethical alternative. We have to disrupt them and build a new system from the ground up.
With blockchain technology - cloud-based crowdsourced human-rights oracles and "Proof of Location" protocols can validate safe and healthy work places.
Normalizing use of these human-rights oracles and verification protocols in apparel production would expose corporations for lack of "Proof of Non-Slave Labor".
As “Proof of Non-Slave Labor” becomes an industry standard:
Corporations who currently have a stranglehold on fashion would be forced to adopt ethical supply chain operations or admit - by omission - to using slave labor.
To make this a reality we need to research and apply protocols to power fully transparent on-chain apparel production. This enables a community owned, transparent, and innovative production process.
Hibiscus DAO = Empowerment
We seek to normalize and facilitate:
- Not using slave labor.
- Paying community/staff proportionally to their contributions
- On-boarding current industry players onto the blockchain (designers & makers)
With hope of creating:
- Strong design teams driven by community and monetary value.
- More diversity, better ideas, better concepts, better curation, and more robust thinking.
- Momentum towards living on-chain.
Hibiscus DAO = Ownership
Crypto technologies help share ownership with stakeholders:
- Web3 communities can bring more value back to their creators when producing wearables
- Forkable concepts and tools can be validated and iterated on by community creators.
- Computer-aided designs can be registered on-chain as vectors and then used to produce anything from printed goods to cut & sew - enabling proper credit and compensation.
- Future royalties of products can be distributed back to creators and the community by the DAOs
With an improved model we can build better to do more, produce less, and return value to creators and users.
Blockchains can redesign incentives to enable freedom, effectiveness, and teamwork:
- Shareholders, makers and creators shouldn’t be in opposition.
- Effective products and social human rights shouldn’t be in opposition.
- Build “Fashion Legos”: a garment library that serves an open-source, Github-like platform for apparel production.
- Create open source, end-to-end apparel production supply chain + tech infrastructure that allows creators to easily create new garments on existing bases.
Cultivate token curated registries of designers, producers, and suppliers who have successful used our core garment library protocol.
- This gives our protocol network effects - making it even easier for new projects to create apparel by forking and building on top of existing on-chain portfolios - which include garments, materials, and designs.
Split system for community contributors.
- Figure out how to retain and redistribute the value created in making and wearing apparel via cryptographic profit sharing.
We can decentralize the supply chain by:
- Setting up participation through product testing bounties, community management, cross-world infrastructure and blockchain development.
- Eventually - creating the ultimate “god” protocol brands with full on chain supply.
On returning ownership:
- Building on-chain tools for designers to register their work to ensure proper attribution.
- Enable structures such as product purchases that would give back a percentage in ownership of the organization - enabling access to dividends.
- Creating a community governed treasury to give back to inner city groups inspiring mainstream trends or help build better support structures for communities supplying raw materials.
First steps = Inviting consumer participation via Product Review + Social Marketing Bounties:
- Sourcing content and reviews from users who are rewarded for it.
Building Incentives for Environmentally-Sound Consumption
We can reduce environmental impact by embracing that a single piece can live multiple lives with different owners.
We can incentivize this behavior by helping pieces hold their value with a robust secondary market ecosystem:
- Building integrated secondary markets where the community can list pre-owned pieces and enjoy continuous returns from future sales.
- Integrating secondary markets and product liquidity such that you can “return” an item for the secondary market value immediately or purchase a “used” item for the current floor price.
And by allowing you to retain value from your item even after it leaves your closet:
- Generating NFTs as “proof of journey” or “store of value” with the encrypted data gathered by your product: a unique “souvenir” of your time with the product before it leaves your wardrobe for a new home.
- Focusing on chain storage, a dynamic NFT can “store” the customer’s collection as "shares" without having to immediately claim the items. Staking your shares, can possible let you “mine” limited products or give you access to new “utility” NFTs.
Augmenting User Experience
Geocaching = Gamifying IRL Exploration
Decentralized geocaching would bring another dimension to the experience of buying and wearing sport clothes.
Whether it’s a simple hike outside of LA or ascending Kilimanjaro - rewarding explorers with real value from their data gathered or their miles traveled helps create a regenerative and healthy relationship between users and performance products.
We can even incentivize outdoor exploration in our gear by having of our athletes create geocached bounties for each collection.
Tweaking with a community approach: a prize cannot be fully redeemed until multiple fragments around the glove are found.
Adding a DeFi element: participants could have the privilege to stake their rewards into a location-specific protocol such that when subsequent participants claim rewards - the staked users earn as well.
Metaverse + Apparel = Innovating Human Expression
Sportswear and technology still has a lot of limits IRL, the Metaverse enables us to explore possibilities + preview developments.
There are currently no culturally relevant Metaverse fashion platforms, whether it’s for designers, curators or users.
Whether for function or fashion - there are many use cases for Metaverse apparel:
- Equipping your avatar for Metaverse exploration or flexing at the recent opening of the Fingerprints DAO museum.
- Enabling accessibility to give humans with disabilities more options to represent themselves and interact with their environment however they would like.
- Ideating innovative designs that wouldn't be possible IRL - like light refracting “invisibility” jackets or continuously changing “prints” on pieces.
- Using generative art to create new prints owned by creators - which can be sold/licensed.
- Operationalizing physical onramps into the Metaverse by getting your body scanned and measured to your avatar.
- Trying on clothes in the Metaverse, paying with your wallet, and getting the product sent to you IRL.