Known and acknowledged for its creativity and trendsetting, the fashion industry is undergoing a remarkable transformation due to new technology. The intersection of fashion and technology, fashiontech, represents a captivating fusion of two diverse yet interconnected realms. In this rapidly evolving landscape, technology is revolutionising and redefining every aspect of the fashion industry, from design and manufacturing to retail and consumer engagement. Fashiontech innovations include wearable technology, smart fabrics, virtual try-ons, greater sustainability, and AI-powered personalisation. They, and others, have opened new horizons, transforming the way we create, experience, and interact with clothing and accessories.
This dynamic convergence is not only driving innovation and efficiency, but also fostering sustainability and inclusivity within the fashion ecosystem. The intersection of fashion and technology is a vibrant space that continuously inspires creativity, embraces functionality, and paves the way for a more connected and immersive fashion experience. It is the focus of a BOLD Sessions event on September 7, 2023. You can Register now, there is no fee.
Our partner in the BOLD Session, Dhana Inc, has been chosen by us for its aims to incorporate tech across the full breadth of its business activities. The company believes that the next era of fashion is one based on collaboration, customer engagement and collectively bridging the divide in the creative design process. Based in Sausalito, California, it aims to maximise customer and stakeholder engagement through hyper-personalisation of the creative and production processes, coupled with ESG reporting on the reduction of waste, water, energy and pollution.
Dhana Inc. is a fashion technology company transforming the brand-customer experience by leveraging digital tools for the advancement of creative design collaboration, conscious fashion, and solutions to climate change. Started in 2008, Dhana Inc., a ten-year-old Certified B Corp, evolved into a world-class fashion company harnessing extensive understanding and complexities in the fashion and apparel industry; firsthand experience in design creation and supply chain management; with proven development of deep tech and artificial intelligence products and platforms. Visit www.Dhana.com
D/Sphere is an AI-powered fashion platform accelerating the personalisation and customisation of fashion using second-life materials. A patented Platform as a Service (PaaS), D/Sphere empowers the end user, and the customer as a brand partner in the value creation B2B2C journey. The future marketplace for all stakeholders in the fashion and apparel industry, D/Sphere offers users a platform to design their digital fashion in a studio; try on their garment using their digital twin/avatar; share what is their fashion story; connect to garment workers and sell their customized garments in a branded store. Today, D/Sphere is being adopted by universities, fashion brands, and resellers as part of the circular fashion movement. Visit www.Dsphere.Network
Pioneers in the newly established Conscious Fashion Consortium (CFC) led by Dhana Inc., represent universities, fashion brands and resellers of second hand clothing, looking to establish new protocols, procedures and practices to honor and celebrate all stakeholders in the co-creation of fashion through the D/Sphere platform. Dhana Inc also mentors the next generation of fashion pioneers who are open to new ways of collaborating, committed to implementing what they have termed their JEDI Culture (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion), and celebrate the creative design expression of customers through the medium of fashion.
Before the BOLD Sessions “Fashion and Technology event”
To provide some further background, here are several areas where fashiontech is transforming and disrupting elements of the fashion sector.
Wearable Technology and Smart Clothing
The rise of wearable technology has brought forth smart clothing that incorporates electronics, sensors, and connectivity. According to a report by Markets and Markets, the global wearable tech market size was estimated at $116.2 billion in 2021, and is expected to more than double to $265.4 billion by 2026. Examples include fitness trackers and smartwatches, offering functionalities like health monitoring, activity tracking, and location security for vulnerable people.
Some companies are developing clothing with embedded biometric sensors. Some just change colour according to body temperature. Others combine medtech with fashiontech to monitor physiological data like heart rate, body temperature, and stress levels. This data can be used for health tracking, athletic performance optimization, and medical monitoring.
Ralph Lauren’s smart ski clothing made with temperature responsive fabric can alter the degree of thermal insulation to match weather conditions.
AR and VR
AR and VR technologies have been integrated into the fashion industry to enhance the shopping experience. Virtual try-on apps and platforms allow customers to see how clothing items look on them before making a purchase. This fashiontech bridges the gap between online and offline shopping by enabling users to virtually “try on” clothing in real-time.
Customers of the Italian fashion brand Gucci can use the Gucci app to try on virtual products at home.
In 2020, during the height of the pandemic, the French startup Stylé collaborated with French luxury brand Chloé and Fusalp to create a digitised, interactive interface of their ski collection. Customers could create a personalised avatar which could then try on items from the collection and follow the buyers’ movements.
Improving the retail experience
AI-powered algorithms are being employed to analyse consumer preferences and trends, helping designers and retailers predict demand and create targeted marketing campaigns. AI can also assist in creating personalised shopping experiences and optimizing inventory management. In-store facial recognition enables customer information (e.g. size, last purchases, spend per year) to be shown on sales assistants’ devices so they can give highly personalised assistance (and upsell!).
French luxury goods giant LVMH signed a five year deal in 2021 to use Google’s AI to help sell products from brands such as Louis Vuitton. Their top spenders are able to enjoy custom-tailored online shopping experiences, and Google’s AI and machine learning fashiontech will also help the company forecast demand for products and optimise store inventories.
3D printing has gained traction in the fashiontech world by enabling the creation of intricate and customizable designs. Designers and brands are experimenting with 3D-printed clothing, accessories, and even shoes. This technology allows for rapid prototyping and production while minimizing waste. Adidas has always been an innovative brand of sports footwear right from its earliest days. Today, it uses 3D printing and automation in its production processes to create improved products through more sustainable and efficient manufacturing.
Digital Fashion and NFTs
The concept of digital fashion has gained momentum, where clothing designs exist purely in the digital realm and can be worn in virtual spaces or shared on social media. Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have enabled the ownership and trading of digital fashion items and accessories. Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci and Givenchy, and more luxury brands, are highly active in this market. Dress to impress in the metaverse!
Sustainable and Ethical Fashion
Technology is being used to address sustainability concerns in the fashion industry. From fabric recycling and upcycling to supply chain transparency using blockchain, various tech-driven initiatives are reducing the environmental impact of fashion production.
Thriftify is an example of the new wave of clothing recycling operators, based in Ireland. In 2022 it raised over £973,000 through equity crowdfunding to accelerate its growth in the marketplace. It enables charities to list selected pre-loved clothing across leading online marketplaces to maximise their return, at the same time as providing recycled bargain opportunities for new wearers.
These, and others, are some of the fashiontech topics that will be discussed in the BOLD Session on September 7, 2023: Sustainable Style: The Intersection of Fashion and Technology. Don’t miss it, Register now.