The combined solutions of K3 and Viji boost fashion and apparel brands to be more sustainable and ethical in their supply chain.
K3, which provides business‐critical software solutions, with a focus on fashion and apparel brands, today announced its acquisition of ViJi (Sas). ViJi is an innovative French software developer breaking new ground in supply chain transparency and traceability within the fashion retail industry. The functionality complements K3’s sustainability product suite; together the organisations will be uniquely placed to help fashion and apparel brands develop sustainable and ethical supply chains. The move is strategically significant for K3, which targets fashion and apparel brands where sustainable supply chains are an important priority, partly driven by emerging legislation.
Sustainability tops the agenda for 2022
It is not just the eyes of policymakers and regulators that are on the fashion industry’s sustainability credentials, shoppers are demanding change too. McKinsey found that three in five consumers cite environmental impact as an important factor in purchasing decisions. The time for action is now; but K3 research has revealed that fewer than half of US and UK retail and fashion brands currently use IT resources to manage CSR or company sustainability objectives. This needs to change as technology has a critical role to play, especially when it comes to managing green initiatives in the supply chain, where the vast majority of fashion’s environmental footprint occurs.
Supporting Sustainability Objectives
The addition of ViJi to K3’s existing sustainability offering advances its mission to transform the fashion retail industry for good. Based in south-west France, ViJi is at the forefront of developing fully scalable software solutions that support the sustainability objectives and strategies of fashion retailers. Its products enable brands to trace and authenticate more easily and reliably the environmental and social credentials of their supply chains. This includes the collection, verification and renewal of supplier certifications. The software also has a consumer-facing component, enabling the digital communication of information on the ethical history of items, including materials, manufacturing processes and sustainability.
K3 has a number of customers – like Columbia Sportswear, Regatta Professional and Ted Baker – who it is proud to do business with due to their positions on sustainability and CSR. With the latest acquisition of ViJi, K3 has been afforded the chance to offer new sustainability functionality to its many clients in fashion, apparel and retail. Together, both K3 and ViJi have an opportunity to place traceability, transparency and certification at the heart of the fashion ecosystem.
Marco Vergani, CEO of K3 Business Technology Group plc, commented:
“We are very pleased to welcome the ViJi team to K3. The business has developed a highly innovative suite of products that address one of the most pressing needs for our customers and the wider fashion industry, the traceability, transparency and sustainability of their supply chains. Its expertise and progressive functionality make it an ideal addition to the K3 family.
“The fashion and apparel sector is under pressure to ensure its goods are produced in an environmentally-sustainable and socially-responsible way. This is being accelerated by legislation supporting carbon reduction and increased transparency of supply chains. ViJi has long been on our radar as a company with an exceptional offering to help fashion brands navigate these market dynamics. By bringing the functionality of K3 and ViJi together we are in a unique position to help fashion brands move the dial on sustainability. We also add strategically important intellectual property and domain knowledge as we focus on the high-growth fashion and apparel sector and help to transform retail for good.”
Josselin Vogel and Anne-Laurence Villemonteil, Co-founders of ViJi, commented:
“There is a large and underserved market for our truly innovative solutions. The fashion and apparel industry – which is our specialisation – lack effective software, and we are excited to be joining K3 with its well-established reputation in this sector and relevant international client base. Our products are an excellent fit and will accelerate K3’s ambitions in Sustainability.”
ViJi’s co-founders, Josselin Vogel and Anne-Laurence Villemonteil, and team will join K3 upon completion of the acquisition. The acquisition enables K3 to integrate ViJi’s solution into its own pioneering suite of applications and products, such as K3|imagine, K3|fashion and K3|pebblestone. In doing so, K3 will better serve its customer by enhancing the existing functionality of its solutions and distinguishing itself in a competitive market.
As a Microsoft Cloud for Retail launch partner, K3 champions but one ideal: to foster an ethical and socially responsible world driven by sustainable practices.
We have innovated retail technology for the last 30 years, but today, we simply aim to empower others to make greener choices – and that starts with our solutions.
K3 blends its own IP with third-party products to create platforms that are truly transformative and enable forward-thinking brands to unlock enduring value and trust from intelligent, agile and sustainable business practices.
With purpose and pace, K3 will permanently transform fashion, apparel and select retail markets into a model of good business, transparency, and ethical sustainability.
ViJi is a fashion technology specialist that offers innovative solutions for collecting, authenticating and promoting CSR information on textile fashion products.
By addressing its solutions to suppliers, distributors and consumers, ViJi contributes to the complete meshing of the value chain and enables a seamless transition towards a sustainable and ethical fashion industry.
ViJi, labelled as ‘Green Tech Innovation’ by the French Ministry of Ecological Transition, aims to promote responsible manufacturing among the industry’s players while also advocating for responsible consumption in the general public.
With rigorous neutrality and a pragmatic approach, ViJi is the first independent third-party to offer brands and manufacturers an eco-friendly alternative to managing their supply chains.