Technology drives our world today in every aspect of life, even fashion, and the textile industry. While we are all in limbo trying to figure out what’s happening right now and where the fashion industry is headed, one thing is for certain: fashion and technology are both very powerful. The two have been merging, but how will that partnership continue in the future? I’ve found some digital innovations that are being explored, and the best is yet to come. What could the future of fashion tech be heading towards?
Digital Fashion and Sustainability
Fashion and sustainability are two topics that continue to be brought up hand in hand. In light of current COVID-19 events that have already changed the industry, it is almost certain that in moving forward, the fashion industry will become more sustainable. One way that this avenue is being explored is through digital fashion, which is a digital render of an existing or a completely new garment or sketch. So, how is it used? Currently, digital clothing is designed for avatars and characters for gaming. Another avenue is superimposed designs, which are digital drawings that are added onto an existing photo to heighten the original look. These types of designs are sustainable and can be changed frequently without creating waste.
When I think about wearable tech, I think about fit bits and health tracking accessories or other health models, but I don’t link the topic with fashion. However, new advances are quickly changing that. Wearable tech has already come a long way, technologically speaking, but it is apparent that the two need to be seamlessly integrated for optimal results, which means that wearable technology and fashion need to closely coincide.
Currently, invisible means of this wearable tech are being tested in Google’s Project Jacquard, where digital technology is, quite literally, woven into smart apparel and accessories. Fashion brands, like Levi’s and Adidas, are at the forefront of this innovation. Physical football and gaming meet in the sole of specially designed Adidas shoes, with Jacquard technology, and Levi’s apparel will also have Jacquard woven into their apparel, allowing users to interact with their phones without physically touching them. Some highly functioning wearables already exist, like the Nadi X smart yoga pants. They vibrate to correct the users’ posture during yoga.
As the popularity of wearable tech rises, it will continue to be important that all smart garments moving forward are more reliable and comfortable than all other means of wearables while still enabling fitness and technology.
Knitting is receiving a much needed revamp, while it’s still a beloved hobby by many. Companies like Uniqlo have put their trust in advanced machines that have capabilities to take one continuous thread and create garments (like sweaters and dresses). These machines use the exact amount of material needed, cutting back on excess fabric waste. Perhaps the greatest feature that 3D knitting offers is its continuous construction, making garments seamless. The days of awkwardly sitting seams and ill-fitting garments will soon be behind us.
AI (Artificial Intelligence)
We’ve all heard about Sophia, the digital AI robot human, designed to provide aid in work fields, but were you aware that AI is also revolutionizing the fashion industry? New advances in AI can enhance, calculate, and predict important aspects in the industry, like tracking real-time inventory, which would keep stock in order while detecting and correcting errors.
In another area of the fashion industry, AI advances will calculate data to curate outfits based on the info provided, and a fit engine will gather other brands that the consumer purchases to estimate their correct size instead of waiting for fashion forecasters.
Adapting Through Data Analysis
New advances in software will allow brands to receive real-time feedback and alerts from companies like updates concerning defective or damaged goods. It would enable quick problem-solving while being cost and waste efficient. New software types are being developed to optimize communication and production in factories to make this process much easier. Features like allowing tech pack changes to be seen in real-time would cut out the need for back and forth emails and would make the process much easier.
Augmented Reality (and live video shopping)
As the fashion industry picks up and moves on from the COVID-19 pandemic, the features that AR will be able to offer will likely become a new way of being. Companies are beginning to render sketches and flats onto 3D models for a tailored experience, which will greatly cut back on waste while improving fit accuracy and efficiency.
Smartphones with advanced capabilities like AG will be tailored from your handheld device to provide inclusivity for all styles and body shapes, instead of just the standard-fit models that don’t account for every body type and proportion.
Some companies are already offering digital showrooms and digital designs for preorder before they go into production. Other companies will likely adopt this practice or get left behind by following suit and releasing digital designs on platforms like Instagram.
It’s already quite easy for consumers to shop from their phone and through their favorite social media platform (like Instagram), with options to use face scan or finger recognition technology to store information to make shopping faster and easier than ever. But with rapid advancements happening between the two, fashion is bound to receive a complete 360 makeover. Creating more digital freedom for design to faster systems for the business side of things, and I’m excited to see what the future looks like for fashion technology.
Maybe you’re interested in creating your own tech designs. Use Mood’s free sewing planner to map out the details. Need fabric? Moodfabrics.com has you covered, offering a diverse selection of fashion fabrics to serve as a strong base for anything your mind can create.
Share your favorite fashion tech innovations below!