HistoryTag is designed to show the history of a thing from its creation, through its life with its first owner, and onwards as it gets passed on and handed down.
An item tagged with a unique Secret Code from HistoryTag has its own page on HistoryTag.com, where photos and tweets chronicling its life will gather.
How does it work?
HistoryTag partners with manufacturers, like Hiut Denim, who want to create histories for their products. During manufacture, every item is assigned its own Secret Code which will be fixed, stamped, printed or stitched on to the item somewhere discreet. The machinists or craftspeople making the item take photos of the process and these are posted to the HistoryTag Flickr account and appear on the item's own page.
So before it's even shipped, every item has its own unique page showing the stages of its creation, from basic materials to its finished state.
When someone buys a HistoryTagged object, such as a pair of jeans, they can enter the Secret Code on HistoryTag.com and claim the item as theirs. For every item a person has claimed, they can specify a unique hashtag for it and if they post a tweet using that hashtag, or post a photo on Flickr or Instagram tagged with it, those tweets or pictures appear on the item's page.
Over time this will build into a history of the item.
If the original owner passes the item on, or sells it, the new owner can claim it as theirs and continue telling the story.
Why Is This A Good Idea?
The best way to make the world a better place is to pay more attention to it. To notice more.
And one we can do that is to pay more attention to the things we make, buy and own.
HistoryTag is designed to make that easy for the manufacturers and owners of all sorts of things.
Not just because it's responsible but because it's interesting.
We have to make things with more value and make that value more tangible. It’s not enough to just say that our products are hand-crafted in unique locations by deeply caring artisans – we have to prove that it’s true. Let people see behind the scenes.
And, if we give people unique connections to things – deeper than just ownership – they’ll live with them longer and value them more.
I want to know more about the things I buy. But I don’t want to read endless impact statements and environmental reports and I can no longer just rely on how a brand ‘feels’ - marketing people have gotten too good at faking authenticity. So I’d like to see behind the scenes a little bit. See where and how the thing was made. Who made it. Not just generally, but my specific thing.
And I’d like to tell that story too. I’m using digital tools to document my life, if it was easy to do that with some of my prized possessions that’d be nice too. Maybe it’ll stop me wasting money on something new sooner than I need to, and maybe it’ll help me prove the value of my thing if I ever want to resell it.