One of the greatest indicators of a cultural upheaval is the change in design and fashion.
Fashion is one of the most outward and visible ways people use to express themselves and give themselves confidence. As society and the world change, so too do our clothes.
While fashion has always been forward-facing, in recent years, there has been a marked shift toward women’s fashion being driven by innovation.
This is most evident in the way that technology is now playing a major role in the fashion industry. From the rise of eCommerce stores to VR and AR runways, technology is disrupting the way we interact with fashion.
Here are some of the most significant ways that technology is changing women’s fashion.
The fashion industry has always been criticized for its environmental impact. It’s considered to be the fourth most polluting industry in the world, behind agriculture (3rd), transport (2nd), and energy (1st).
To paint a visual of its impact, the average American consumer alone is responsible for the consumption of about 80 pounds of textile waste each year. This is in large part due to the fast fashion industry, which is notorious for its low-quality garments that are produced at a high rate to meet the ever-changing trends.
With more people recognising the unsustainable and damaging effects of fast fashion, there’s a growing demand for sustainable fashion options as a means to reduce one’s carbon footprint. In fact, products with the keywords “sustainable” have been projected to grow by 52% year on year.
Instead of purchasing fast fashion, many customers opt to shop in stores like Maplestore, with brands like Agolde that boast higher-quality fabrics to reduce wastage.
2) Virtual and Augmented Reality
The use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is another area where technology is starting to have a significant impact on women’s fashion.
One of the most notable examples of this is how fashion designers and developers use these technologies to create virtual fashion shows. This allows for a more immersive experience that can be enjoyed by viewers no matter where they are in the world.
AR/VR also gives designers the ability to experiment with different looks and styles without having to worry about the cost and logistics of putting on a physical show.
In addition to fashion shows, VR and AR are also being used in the retail sector. For example, some stores allow customers to try on clothes without having to physically take them off the racks through a virtual fitting room.
This is a massive step forward in the fashion industry. Not only does this reduce the risk of viral exposure, but it also ensures that clothing can be tried on and fitted regardless of size availability, physical presence, and body shape.
Furthermore, this also addresses one of the biggest setbacks of eCommerce stores—the inability to try on clothes before buying them.
3) The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network between physical objects (things) that can connect and exchange data over the Internet. This includes everything from home appliances and computers.
In recent times, apparel and fashion items managed to find a place in this interconnected network as well.
While smartwatches with WiFi connection are perhaps the most well-known example of IoT in the fashion sector, the technology encompasses so much more.
For example, many apparel companies employ technologies to help you design a better outfit depending on your activities. An example in the real world is Coded Couture—a Swedish-based company backed by H&M and Google. The project was an app aimed at helping people pick the right elements and styles for their clothing depending on user activity.
Another way that IoT is being used in fashion is in the creation of custom garments. Made-to-measure and bespoke items have always been a part of the fashion industry. However, the use of 3D body scanning technology is making it easier than ever for fashion brands to create clothing that fits perfectly.
This innovation isn’t limited to only those in big tech. Big-name fashion brands like Adidas, Nike, and Ralph Lauren all have mentioned the Internet of Things in recent filings over the years, signifying a clear interest in the technology.
4) Size Inclusivity
The traditional fashion industry has traditionally been geared towards a certain type of body—typically tall, fair-skinned, and slim.
Beauty has been subconsciously equated with a certain body type for decades, which has led to a lot of discrimination and self-esteem issues among people who don’t fit that description.
Thankfully, the industry has broken free from these outdated standards and has become more inclusive of all body types. This is evident in the growing number of plus-size fashion lines and the rise of curvaceous models on the runway.
Inclusivity is not only about offering clothing in a wider range of sizes, but it’s also about creating a more inclusive industry as a whole. With the average woman in Australia and the US being a size 16, this movement is not only celebrated, but warranted.