The fashion world sees barriers being broken on a regular basis. As the fashion industry continues to evolve, the future of fashion is still speculated on in movies and TV shows. It seems that the common guess about the way clothes will look in the future is either post-apocalyptic street wear that looks like clothes from the past or form-fitting clothes that would be at home on a superhero. As fashion continues to evolve, brands will likely adapt to the growing sustainability trend by offering clothes that are only available in a digital form.
The Future of Fashion and Sustainability
When it comes to sustainability in the fashion world, some of the biggest names in the fashion industry are making a commitment to change the way they conduct their business. For example, back in 2017, H&M announced their goal to become 100% circular by 2030. This means that H&M plans to only use materials that are recycled or sustainably-sourced by 2030. In addition, a recent report shared at the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana’s third international roundtable on sustainability in Milan stated that buyers at stores such as Saks and Barneys are expecting to almost double the total amount they spend on sustainable products. In the next five years, they plan on increasing their spending from 23% to 40%.
The Future of Fashion is Digital Fashion
In order to maintain the health of the earth, some fashion companies are looking at future solutions that will end up existing in the digital space. In an interview featured on the BBC website, Rachel Stott of the Future Laboratory said “We’re finally seeing the digital industry revolutionize age-old practice and evolving over the next 20 years. Immaterial and digital fashion offer opportunities for brands to exert creativity, and connect with customers through a different medium.”
It is even possible that some clothes from retailers won’t even exist. Carlings, a Norwegian retailer, launched a digital collection last year that featured futuristic street clothes that were only bought online because they were “e-fitted” to the photos of users. Many fashion followers praised this idea as it allowed users a vast choice of styles without making a negative impact on the resources of the world.
While the idea of digital clothing might seem odd, digital collections are actually a logical fashion step forward for players of online video games. People that play games like Fortnite already spends money on items that don’t exist in the real world and this includes clothing. Stott says there will be digital collections of clothing that are not bound by the physical form or hampered by current creative restrictions.
The Future of Fashion Blends Online Content with the Physical World
Matthew Drinkwater, of the London College of Fashion Innovation Agency, says there is a current trend to combine online content with the physical world. Drinkwater can see the future of fashion involving augmented-reality glasses that place digital images onto the real world so users can “share” the clothing they want to see into the AR glasses of those participating in the digital creation of the clothing.
Drinkwater, in conjunction with ILMxLAB which is the immersive entertainment division of Lucasfilm, introduced the project during London Fashion Week 2018 at the presentation of designer Steven Tai. During an interview about the project, Drinkwater said that the “project hints at a future where we will be able to download content to our clothing, viewable through AR glasses, and present ourselves differently to everyone around us. Our identities are constantly evolving and becoming more fluid by straddling both the digital and physical realms. Digital fashion allows people to fully experiment with how they would like to be perceived and push limitless creative boundaries. A hairstyle made from water, a dress that alters its shape according to sound; these are all possible.”
The Future of Fashion Saves Money by Going Digital
According to numbers released by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, $500-billion dollars is lost each year due to waster cost and clothing under-use. In fact, 87% of all fashion that is created will end up in a landfill.
By viewing the numbers above, it makes sense why the fashion industry is making an effort to go digital in the future. Neuro Studios, a digital agency based in New York, is working on the concept of only creating clothes that consumers actually want. Their latest work, Solventus 2019, is a collection where human models were 3D-scanned so the designers cold get accurate measurements that were precise before the clothes they created were designed and placed directly onto digital avatars. The idea behind the collection is to only create clothes, via 3D-printing, when they are ordered by a customer instead of manufacturing an entire line that might, or might not, sell well with the public.
In addition, companies such as Nike are working towards a future where customers will be able to 3D-print their own shoes at home.
The Future of Fashion Moves to Consumer-Designed Clothes
Stott says the clothing industry is moving closer to clothes designed by customers. “The hegemony of fashion influencers has shifted in recent years, from designers, creative directors and magazine editors to the people. The consumer wants creative input and hyper-personalized products, and technology is empowering them to do so.”