Fashion is an industry that’s ever-changing and ever-evolving. Society shapes it and fashion shapes society. It’s a fascinating ballet that the average consumer is unaware of. Behind the scenes, away from public view, fashion continues to innovate. This year has proven to be the year of fashion tech, a marriage of the beauty and reach that fashion provides with the innovation and functionality of technology. Now in the second half of the year, we examine a few ways fashion has innovated in 2020.
Sustainable Fabric Production
The fashion industry has always had a problem with the sustainability of its fabrics. It’s been the subject of much fuss throughout the years. Out of the $1.34 trillion spent on clothes annually, only 1 percent of the clothes we wear are biodegradable. Even though we donate our clothes and hope they’re given another life, they often wind up in landfills. Here are a few companies trying to make retail sustainable.
Bolt Threads: This California-based material solutions company aims to create “way better material for a way better world.” They’ve recently made headlines for creating Mylo, a leather-like material made from mycelium, a network of thread-like cells found in mushroom roots. Bolt Threads is also responsible for creating Microsilk, a biodegradable protein-based fabric highlighted in Stella McCartney’s Adidas collaboration.
Tejidos Royo: The company gives a solemn promise with its Dry Indigo denim line; to create the world’s most sustainable material. And they’re on their way. Their process is said to use no water, use 65 percent less electricity, and 90 percent fewer chemicals than your average fabric production.
The concept of virtual clothing is an innovation that leaves many divided on what is considered fashion. Digital clothing is clothes that don’t exist. They’re 3D-rendered garments that only exist virtually. You can’t touch them or wear them in real life, but you can purchase them, and your digital avatar can wear them. Some are in favor because it furthers the zero-waste movement, offering a greener alternative to the current pollutant producing industry, whereas others aren’t amused. Whatever your stance on digital clothing, it’s making some real-world money.
Earlier this year, Congolese designer Anifa Mvuemba went viral with a different take on digital clothing. When the COVID-19 lockdown delayed the launch of her Pink Label Congo collection, she opted to combine fashion with tech and debut it in a 3D fashion show. Her innovative response has inspired other designers to take the same approach.
Using Tech to Help Us Connect
Chinese fashion designer Vega Zaishi Wang hopes to create new emotional experiences and change the way people relate to clothes with the designs featured in her Alpha Lyrae collection. Wang continues to push the envelope of fashion presentation by combined the thin, flexible, and environmentally safe technology of electroluminescence (EL) with her delicate and ethereal designs. Strips and panels of EL are woven throughout, which create radiating, pulsing, and galaxy-like patterns. The result is as much innovation as it is art. Just imagine the other ways this technology can be used.
Creating the Best Experience
The old one-size-fits-all model is getting an upgrade. Now, an emerging trend in the fashion industry is curating the perfect fit. It’s innovative because of its simplicity. These fittings are backed by science. This means that no matter your height or stature, the clothing will look good on you. Companies like Summersalt are finding overwhelming success with this new approach to creating clothes. The sustainably sourced swimsuit designer took 1.5 million body measurements of 10,000 women of all shapes and sizes, all to create swimsuits that cater to all body types and every style preference.
Nostalgia Becomes New
The fashion and retail industry are feeling nostalgic. Maybe it’s a coincidence or perhaps it’s just perfect timing, but we’ve noticed an uptick in brands revisiting iconic designs and fabrics. The past is an inspiration for the future, and in 2020 it’s brought innovation.
Top designer brand Gucci recently released its fragrance, Memoire d’Une Odeur (Memory of a Smell), which featured childhood photos of past Gucci campaign faces. And “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” singer Jennifer Lopez wore a recreation of the iconic green Versace jungle dress for its Milan fashion show.
Luxury handbag buying and selling site Rebag took the nostalgia meets innovation trend in a different direction with the addition of CLAIR, its new data-driven evaluation software. CLAIR, which is an acronym for Comprehensive Luxury Assessment Index for Resale, is a mobile app that allows owners to quickly appraise their sought-after handbag and reveal its resale price in their database and other resale sites. Vintage and new designs have a chance at a second life instead of being kept in storage. The app’s been called the Kelly Blue Book of designer handbags and giving new meaning to the term “investment piece.”
Redefining How We Monitor Health
The idea of what is considered wearable tech evolves once more. New Zealand-based fashion technology company Footfalls & Heartbeats introduces the concept that clothing can monitor your health and provide a better quality of living. Using a proprietary knitting method and electrically conductive yarn, they’ve designed a smart fabric that turns clothing into a network of sensors through nano-scale interactions. These sensors can collect data to be used in sports, defense, digital health, and transport. It means bandages or a shoe can give real-time insight into your rehabilitation like never before. All while looking fashionable. Though the brand is slated to roll out its first garments in 2021, it has high ambitions for its fabric: infant monitoring, pressure sensing in wheelchairs and beds, performance monitoring, and measuring blood oxygen saturation.
Get Involved with Jordan Alliance Group
The fashion and retail industries are ever-changing and always innovating ways to enhance our lives while keeping us fashionable. Our team at Jordan Alliance Group keeps retailers informed about fashion and retail industry trends and helps them run a business that’s sure to thrive in the coming years.
Contact our team for a free consultation, and let’s get started.
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