How is engineering shaping the future of fashion?

Jon Lawson

The world of fashion, like many other industries, has become integrated with technology, writes Delilah Kealy Roberts. Ranging from garment manufacturing and creating a sustainable supply chain, fashion is innovated by technology in many ways. Processes used in the fashion industry were for a long time unchanged. However, the new few years will hold big changes for innovation.

As of this year, the fashion industry is worth an estimated US$664 billion, making it one of the world’s biggest industries. Because of the sheer size of fashion, technological innovations will certainly revolutionise the entire sector. This is particularly true in helping work towards a green and clean world.

Here, we’ll look at big data and Blockchain technology, forecasting what innovations we can expect to see in the world of fashion.

Innovative fabrics

The last few years have seen progress in terms of ethical fabric practices. You’ll be surprised to learn that new and innovative features like vegan leather are arguably worse for the environment due to the high plastic content. 

Google is even getting involved in pioneering new fabrics. The Google ATAP (advanced technology and projects) lab is in the process of creating touch-responsive fabrics designed from conductive threads. There is also talk of innovating colour-changing fabric. This can be altered to match our moods, settings, or even temperatures. 

3D printing garments

3D printing is working towards achieving this colour-changing fabric. It uses ‘photochromic inks’ that, when exposed to different wavelengths of UV light, can change colour. 

3D printing is changing the entire game for the textile industry, from accessories to women’s trainers like these, and runway fashion. 3D printed creations are potentially limitless. Back in 2010, Iris Van Herpen, a Dutch designer, was already pioneering 3D printed fashion. She showcased her Crystallisation top; a geometric garment created from 3D printing white polyamide.

Will this be integrated on a huge scale as part of the typical fashion supply chain?

How is Blockchain technology changing fashion?

Blockchain tech has the potential to innovate how fashion is shipped, traced, and recorded. Each ‘Block’ in the blockchain is devised of data around dates and times transactions and digital information regarding the value of the purchase. This is allowing brands to improve their supply chain, recording every movement of a product along the chain. This will be helpful in detecting fakes, preventing counterfeits from reaching the market, and seeing when goods have been attempted to be diverted.

Artificial intelligence and personalisation

AI is a powerful tool to help brands forecast trends. With this technology, virtual wardrobes and planning tools can improve the user experience by allowing them to be creative with their shopping experience while facilitating brand access to unique, instant customer data.

AI can also personalise fashion down to minuscule details. For example, online ’fit engines’ makes it easier for users to find the perfect style and fit for them, adding a bespoke and unique touch to their experience - no more ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Ranging from sustainable practices to improving the individual user experience, technology is revamping the world of fashion with a brand-new look. A green, clean and personal experience, we’re excited to see what the next few years bring.



Recent Issues