Tech trends reshaping the fashion industry
The fashion industry is predicted to rack up to $3.3 trillion by 2030. In an industry where not much has changed when it comes to technology, it’s interesting to see what exciting tech has begun to emerge, and what will reshape the fashion industry throughout 2023 and beyond. To celebrate London Fashion Week let's explore emerging tech in the fashion world.
From metaverse fashion shows, to smart clothing and 3D printed garments, it’s clear that many designers and brands are embracing technology, pushing the limits of manufacturing, production, marketing and wearability.
So, is the metaverse the future of fashion. Probably not. However, there are several fashion brands leveraging the metaverse, including Gucci, Nike, Zara, and Boohoo.
Last year saw the first ever Metaverse Fashion Week, which was hailed a success, with over 108,000 people logging on for the four-day event. The event, hosted by Decentraland, was bursting with runway shows, after-parties and immersive experiences. It was such a success that it’s returning in 2023 (March 24-27).
Even fast fashion retailers are on board with the metaverse. British retailer Boohoo has experimented with new platforms, launching its Boohooverse last year, a Web 3.0 platform dedicated to empowering women in the digital space.
The initiative was dedicated to onboarding the female fashion community into Web3 and future fashion projects in the metaverse.
To enter the Boohooverse, shoppers had to get hold of 3D NFT cards, given out for free, which also gave access to exclusive events and NFT drops. For this, the brand partnererd with creative designer Amy Kilner.
The company also hosted a metaverse fashion week with Paris Hilton, launching Paris World. This was launched through Roblox and was open to the public, featuring a digital Paris Hilton and other Roblox designers and influencers.
Many haven’t seen a Balenciaga hoodie in real life, but have in a video game. The metaverse adds a whole new dimension to an already creatively bursting industry.
Could novel fabrics be the future of fashion? Designers can set themselves apart and appeal as a sustainable option.
During Paris Fashion Week 2022, Bella Hadid walked Coperni’s catwalk wearing a spray on dress. The white dress was sprayed live onto her body using Fabrican’s sprayable liquid fibre. The spray-on-fabric is a liquid made up of natural and synthetic fibres, such as wool, cotton, nylon and cellulose.
After the initial shape of the dress was sprayed onto Bella Hadid’s body, a Coperni employee cut and altered the white dress, shortening it and adding a slit.
Vincent van der Holst, Founder of BOAS said: "Innovations in materials, logistics, and digital experiences open new creative avenues for designers. But it's not just for the wow factor; these technologies can also play a crucial role in making fashion more sustainable. Brands can reduce their environmental impact while keeping customers inspired and wanting more."
"Just this February we launched a new collection with an all-remote team and no warehouse. With all profits from this line going to charity, we needed to have an extremely efficient process. Thanks to a variety of innovative products we were able to maximize donations from each item and launch in time for fashion week."
Since the invention of 3D printers, many brands and designers have been exploring the possibilities they hold for on-demand production.
Throughout 2022, many brands embraced their 3D collections.
At Paris Fashion Week, Dior showcased a set of 3D printed footwear as part of the Dior Winter 23 by Kim Jones show. The two different types of shows created by Dior were printed using laser powder bed fusion technology.
What’s interesting about 3D printed fashion is the incredible sustainability benefits. 80% of the material of the Dior shoes could be entirely reused for other purposes, demonstrating a circular approach.
Designer Van Herpen is known for her prestigious Haute Couture fashion weeks, utilising sophisticated technologies. She has procuded 3D printed garments for the likes of Beyonce and Lady Gaga.
Blockchain offers a great tool for transparency and traceability in the fashion industry, allowing its members to be connected. This addresses fashion’s supply chain deficiencies, giving fashion brands the ability to track the whole process of their products, from raw material to end result.
Mostly used as a record-keeping technology, blockchain can be used to efficiently trace and keep records of clothing apparel and supply chains through track-and-trace tech, and inventory management.
Blockchain could become a tool capable of holding companies accountable for every part of the process, assuming information is made public.