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Technology and Fashion: Putting Sustainability in Style

Beginning a new year offers us the chance to reflect on the past, and inevitably raises questions about what the future will hold. So, as we make our way into 2021, it is important to look at the crucial changes that are needed in the world of fashion.

It’s no secret that, as one of the leading polluters on the planet and being responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions, serious changes are needed to make the fashion industry more sustainable.

So, from vegan leather to 3D body scanning, here’s a look at three ways that technology and fashion can generate a greener future for the industry.

Changing the fabric of the fashion industry

New technology offers solutions for environmental issues and is (quite literally) changing the fabric of fashion as we know it.

Vegan leather – the renewable alternative to traditional animal leather – is an example of a fabric that is fashioned with 100% natural materials. Produced from yeast cells that are used to create protein, it has the strength and elasticity of regular leather – and is even more adaptable than its counterpart.

This new and sustainable fabric is being perfected by companies such as Modern Meadow, who aim to provide a catalyst for sustainability and a gradual shift towards a healthier planet, through biofabrication.

Not only is vegan leather an animal-friendly solution to regular leather, but this adaptable material could also inspire new fashions and potentially reduce greenhouse gases associated with cattle farming methods.

And, with the global synthetic leather market predicted to exceed forty billion dollars by 2027 – luckily, we shouldn’t be seeing the end of this sustainable technology anytime soon.

The robot revolution: Artificial Intelligence in fashion

Though it might sound futuristic – in many cases, AI is already helping to make the fashion industry more sustainable.

Predicting future fashion trends is one example of the power of AI as a sustainable technology – as predicting trends can reduce overproduction, and therefore tackle the problem of excess waste in the industry.

In fact, the uses of AI in the fashion industry are endless and could be particularly helpful in the manufacturing process. Whether it be the effectiveness of manufacturing, running quality checks or finding product faults, AI could save time and energy that would ultimately increase efficiency and sustainability in the fashion industry.

Though there are still developments to be made in this field, ultimately, AI can be used across many aspects of fashion, creating a more efficient and sustainable industry with intelligent technology.

Technology and fashion: Finding the right fit

We’ve all been there – that moment that we impulse buy an item of clothing online, only to find that it doesn’t fit upon arrival. Usually, this experience ends in disappointment and inevitably, the return of the product.

Each year in the UK, returns make up around five billion pounds of waste – the majority of these products being brand new and having no faults. Unfortunately, most of these return items end up in landfill.

Technology, however, offers a solution to this in the form of 3D body scanning. Capturing body measurements using infrared waves, this data can be used to create clothing to perfectly fit the individual.

And, there are so many ways that 3D scanning technology could impact consumers and change the retail experience for the better. This technology could give customers a virtual try-on shopping experience that doesn’t discriminate on body type, and makes finding the right fit accessible to everybody.

Ultimately, this merging of technology and fashion would provide a more comfortable experience for shoppers and could reduce the vast number of product returns – helping to make the fashion industry a more sustainable space, in the process.

A more sustainable future awaits…

The relationship between technology and fashion is vital in creating a more sustainable future for the fashion industry and, by extension – the rest of the world.

The fact that we are now seeing such technologies as vegan leather, AI, and 3D body scanning being developed and tested in the fashion industry is a great leap forward for sustainability.

And, with many renowned brands – such as adidas – investing in technology as a model for sustainability, a new standard is being set for other brands to follow. So, although there is still a way to go, the future of fashion certainly looks sustainable.


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