Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Dewhirst develops scannable smart code technology

High street garment supplier Dewhirst has formed a joint venture with cyber security firm VST Enterprises to roll out scannable smart code technology in clothing, footwear and accessories.

The technology can be used to provide shoppers with more information about products when they’re in store or at home, as well as making anti-counterfeiting and traceability much easier.




The two firms established a joint venture called VApparel at the start of this year and are now introducing the technology to Dewhirst’s customers for development. It can eventually be deployed by any fashion manufacturer or retailer.

The technology is currently being used to protect against fraud in many sectors, from document verification to unattended car park payment systems, but this is its first application in the fashion and textile industries.

Louis-James Davis, chief executive of Manchester-based VST Enterprises, explained that that process uses a VCode, which is a fully-washable symbol that is 225 microns thick and can be printed, stitched or etched onto garments, footwear or accessories. Unlike QR codes, the VCode only links to VST’s database servers and its own proprietary smart phone app, which means it is more secure than other systems.

Dewhirst, which supplies high street retailers such as Marks & Spencer and various Premier League football clubs, is about to enter a development phase with some of its main customers to commercialise the technology. The UK-based company makes around 50 million garments a year at facilities in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the UK and Vietnam.

Chief executive Anthony Wood told Drapers: “Customers can scan the garment and know it is genuine but they can also get a lot more information on their phones. For example with a football shirt, they can get player interviews or could be pinged more sales info and offers. So it is that, combined with the anti-counterfeiting option, that really makes this technology different.

“We’ll start with our main customers but this technology can be used for any retailer – we can put VCode onto any finished items.”

Wood said the joint venture is interesting because it unites an old but forward-thinking business (Dewhirst was founded in 1880) with a new technology business, both based in the North of England. “This is only the beginning of what we could do,” he added.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.