We’ve previously written blog posts about exciting careers in fashion and sustainable fashion. We’re focusing today on technological innovation in fashion, which has historically relied heavily on humans.
Companies and fashion brands are using innovative technologies such as virtual reality and blockchain to offer a new experience for customers. We’ll be looking at all these technologies in this article and asking if fashion innovation can permanently transform the industry.
What does the term fashion technology mean?
We are sure you’re wondering what fashion technology means. So let us explain. Fashion technology can be defined as any tech that is innovative and creates modern tools for the fashion industry.
It can be used by customers, designers, manufacturers and retailers, depending on its purpose. Fashion tech will continue to gain popularity as more technologies are made available.
What is the importance of innovation in fashion?
It is vital to innovate in order to improve the customer experience and to keep the fashion industry moving forward. Fashion is currently the second-most polluting industry in world after oil. This is not sustainable.
Many fashion technologies can help improve the sustainability of clothes items and the manufacturing process. Innovation and sustainability are therefore closely connected. Fashion brands that are more innovative and sustainably focused can attract more customers and increase their profit, while also reducing the environmental and social impact they have on the environment.
What are the most popular fashion technologies of today?
We’ll now discuss the top nine fashion technologies currently being used in the industry. We can expect more innovation in fashion production and consumption over the next few years.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
AI is a key technology in all industries, including fashion. Artificial Intelligence, or artificial intelligence, is the computer-generated simulation of human intelligence. Fashion brands have used it recently for many purposes.
AI can be used in fashion to improve customer experience, predict trends, analyze and predict buying patterns, and even understand fashion aesthetics. This is illustrated by touchscreens in retail stores that provide personalized product advice using AI chat technology. These scenarios allow AI to be trained to recognize aesthetics such as colour, texture, and style preferences.
Virtual reality (VR)
Virtual Reality, also known as Augmented Reality (AR), is another technology you have probably heard a lot about. Virtual Reality (VR) simulates a real environment. AR allows for interactivity and simulations in the real-world.
VR and AR are both incredibly exciting in the fashion industry. They allow the physical and digital worlds to mix. Virtual reality allows customers to try on clothes online. It can also create a virtual version of entire stores.
We can see how technology and innovation can make brands more sustainable with the growth of 3D printing. 3D printing allows real products to be made from digital designs.
Experts explore the impact that 3D printing has on the fashion industry in our open step, 3D Printing in Textiles by Labdox. They discuss how 3D printed clothing can result in significantly less textile waste than traditional designs, as well as how 3D printing reduces water use, water pollution, and water contamination.
3D printing also opens up a world of possibilities for designers. There are no restrictions on clothing structure, fabric, or creativity. 3D printing can result in more exciting and innovative fashion designs than ever before.
Material innovation and novel fabrics
The materials used are an important aspect of fashion and clothing design. The current fashion industry uses synthetic and non-biodegradable fibers in 72% of its garments. This is alarming. This problem could be solved by novel fabrics. These are new materials.
Designers can create novel fabrics in a variety of ways. You can make almost any material, including lab-grown leather and fibres made of seaweed that can easily be knitted together. A company even makes vegan leather out of apple pectin (a product that is made from the leftovers from apples).
These are serious consequences. We can reduce the use of plastics and other non-biodegradable fibers by creating sustainable fabrics. Innovations that allow us to make eco-friendly leather, fur, and silk will save the lives of animals.
Mobile commerce and fashion apps
It’s obvious that we all spend so much time on our smartphones and tablets these days. The fashion industry has also taken advantage of this trend and created all sorts of apps and mobile tech. Apps make it easier for fashion brands and consumers to communicate with each other. We’ll see more of this in future.
There are apps available for almost everything. Depop and Vinted are two examples of fashion marketplaces where you can sell or buy clothes. Recently, there have been a lot of clothing renting apps like By Rotation and On Loan.
The rating app is an example of a fashion application that encourages sustainability. Good On You provides ratings for brands based upon their treatment of animals, people, and the planet. This tech allows consumers to make informed choices and promotes transparency in fashion industry.
Blockchain is another revolutionary technology that is revolutionizing the way businesses run. Blockchain is a permanent, unalterable database that records transactions and tracks assets. You can find a deeper explanation in our blog on understanding cryptocurrency, blockchain and Bitcoin.
How can the fashion industry use blockchain? Blockchain is a powerful tool that improves transparency and efficiency in supply chains. It makes it possible for all parties to securely exchange documents and data. Blockchain gives each fashion product a unique digital identification that allows for easy tracking.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things describes all products with technology embedded in them that allow them to use internet connectivity. IoT products also include fashion products. They have the potential of helping us meet the exciting demands modern life.
This technology offers many options, including workout clothes that measure your heart rate and baby clothes that identify a baby’s sleeping patterns. IoT products can also track your health, and make suggestions.
Social media influencers have grown in popularity over the past five years. You’ll see thousands of fashion influencers today working with fashion brands to promote clothes to their followers. It’s an extremely effective marketing strategy.
Virtual influencers are something you probably don’t know about. These virtual influencers are created online as personas with the sole purpose to sell clothes and other products. Digital supermodel Lil Miquela Sousa is the first virtual influencer. She has 3,000,000 followers and a profile description that reads “19-year old Robot living in LA”.
Virtual influencers have many advantages. Brands can “take” pictures and style them in any way they like, and there is no need to worry about the influencer’s damaging behavior or lack thereof. There are also issues with over-styling and unrealistic representations of these influencers.
Online shopping makes up a large part of the fashion industry. It accounts for one-fifth the total UK fashion sales. Packaging is an important topic. Many online shopping packaging is made of plastic, and can be thrown away after just one use. This is not ideal.
This problem could be solved by biopackaging. They break down the meaning of bioplastics in our open step on biodegradability and bioplastics by EIT Food. Biopackaging can be either made from renewable resources, biodegradable or both.
Biopackaging is already being used in some amazing ways. Maggie Marilyn packs her clothes using ComPlast, which is a cassava-based biopackaging bag.
Is technology the future of fashion?
Certain technological innovations have the potential for influencing the future fashion industry and making it more ethical, eco-conscious and sustainable. Technology isn’t the only one in this game.
It is important that governments push for ethical and sustainable fashion brands. We all have a part in this, though we can only do so through our actions and our consumption habits. While technology is exciting, it’s also important to make sure that all children are educated about fashion and the arts. This will allow everyone to have the chance to work in fashion, and encourage innovation and change.
We hope you found this useful and that it has taught you about the many exciting fashion innovations currently in the world. We can’t predict what fashion tech will look like in ten years. However, we hope it inspires brands and consumers to be more expressive, creative, and sustainable.