The fashion industry is not impervious and is perishable just like any other industry. Factors that could threaten this industry include resource scarcity, vulnerable economic conditions and changing consumer behavior. These threats are also a platform to exciting opportunities for us to learn, innovate and create.
We respond to these shifts caused by climate change, the economy, and social media with technology as they bring a new reality to our constantly evolving world.
“The old ways are collapsing. All these changes are interrelated, and because of the Internet and technology, we have a different notion of privacy than our parents did. It’s becoming an inclusionary society. We are seeing small changes, then all of a sudden they will accumulate, and we’re going to see a whole new city. You may not be aware of it, but you’re living it. (Karagianis, 2014)”
Climate change is a big factor that impacts fashion and fashion trends. If it rained all day everyday for the rest of our lives, can you imagine what fashion would look like? Fashion has also
“inspired technology throughout history and conversely technology has inspired fashion and are always an early adopter of new ideas and technology (Black, 2010).”
Advancements in technology and new ideas that are being developed could change everything about what we wear. Designers such as Manel Torres explores the possibility of spray-on clothing and has successfully created prototypes. How it works is that Torres’s non-woven fabric can be made by spraying benign chemical formulations directly towards the body, distributing thousands of fibres across the wearer’s skin, which then bind together to form disposable garments (Oliver, 2009).
Another possibility explored is Barkfur, a synthetically-created biomaterial, is used by Danish designer Laerke Hooge Andersen to suggest how we could grow clothing directly onto the body in the future . The possibilities are endless – 3D Printing Fashion: How I 3D-Printed Clothes at Home.
The future of fashion and technology and those who create it are very well aware of the impacts and the uncertainty that the future has but in anticipating the future we need to be innovative, creative, experimental and educated in order to progress in contributing to making fashion and technology more sustainable. Using renewable – agriculture energy –farm power. Long-term sustainability.
Experimental fashion designer Iris van Herpen, regularly works collaboratively to develops innovative 3D printed showpiece dresses states
“I hope designers will be able to manipulate materials more efficiently than we can today. I hope there will be a new generation of ‘super materials’ that do not exist today (Black, 2010)”.
She envisioned the future of fashion to be non material – people could be dressed in “smoke, drops of water, coloured vapour or radio waves” might sustain the planet (Black, 2010).
The future of fashion and technology has already begun and in the prosperous world of Techno-Chic (one that I prefer) we benefited by switching early to a low-carbon economy and huge technological investment. 3-D body scanners have been invented which allow consumers to ’try on’ clothes in virtual mirrors. Modular clothing made by machines and then can be customised in store to individual taste. Trendy craze – ‘chameleon’ clothing, a military spin-off, offering a blank canvas which can change colour and style, options such as mimicking the celebrity of the moment and clothing that are designed to biodegrade or be reused. What will you be wearing in 2025?
Black, S 2010,’Textile futures : fashion, design and technology’, Berg, Oxford, New York.
Karagianis, L 2014, ‘The Future is Cities’, Spectrum Massachusetts Institute of Technology, viewed 13 August 2015, < http://spectrum.mit.edu/articles/the-future-is-cities/>.
Oliver, R 2009, ‘The fashion of the future: scientists usher in a new age of hi-tech textiles’, Telegraph UK, viewed 20 August 2015, < http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/article/TMG6240633/The-fashion-of-the-future-scientists-usher-in-a-new-age-of-hi-tech-textiles.html>.