The COVID-19 pandemic, rising urgency for sustainability measurements, and increased consumerism has led to a rapidly changing fashion industry over the last few years.
To keep up with the rapidly changing and increasing fashion industry innovations are constantly thrown out to increase the efficiency and productivity of the industry.
Not only this, innovations are also used to increase the sustainability of the fashion industry by replacing wasteful materials and replacing them with sustainable alternatives, and finding energy efficient ways to produce fashion items.
From fabrics made of fruits to digital fashion shows. Let’s take a look at some of the current innovations in fashion.
Fabrics From fruits and Vegetables
We are all familiar with fabrics made from materials such as cotton, wool, linen, and silk that have been around for ages. However, over the last few years new developments have been made in fiber technology and fabrics. Currently many companies are working on creating sustainable fabrics as alternatives for the current energy intensive fabrics.
Fruits and vegetables have proven to be of excellent use in fabrics: from synthetic look-a likes to faux leathers.
Below you can see some example for fruit and vegetable leathers.
1. Pinatex by Dr. Carmen Hijosa
2. Orange Fiber by by Adriana Santanocito & Enrica Arena
3. WineLeather by Francesco Merlino & Gianpiero Tessitore
4. Parblex™ by Chip[s] Board
Sustainable Fashion Software
Luxury group Kering has developed “My EP&L”, an app that calculates the impact that a product has on the environment.
It starts with the impact of the extraction of the resources and ends with the product’s sale in the stores. The environmental impact is shown geographically according to the design and sourcing choices.
The app can also be used to compare choices and see what steps the user can take to reduce the environmental impact.
Circular Design Software
Another example is the Circular Design Software by Circular.fashion. This company has created a software to help brands, material suppliers, Sorters and Recyclers to become more sustainable. For each category the software differs slightly, so it is the optimal fit.
The three main aspects of the software are:
a circular material library so brands can find the best materials for their products.
Circular Design Guidelines so the brand can correctly design for circularity
and last, an overview and circularity check
The last software is called Storey. It is a virtual closet app created with the goal to become more sustainable, and help people become more creative with the clothing they already own.
The app encourages its users to upload their entire wardrobe, and interact with others. This way you will get a clearer overview of all the items you already own. You can use the app to create new outfits and get inspiration from others.
Virtual Fitting Room
Several companies have created virtual fitting rooms for their customers. These technologies allow customers to see how an outfit would look on them when they are shopping online.
Users give the app/ software basic information such as length, height, gender, and weight, based on which the app will generate a virtual version of you.
There are also fitting rooms that work via augmented reality. In this case a webcam scans the person’s body in order to create a virtual 3D version on which you can try on different outfits
Virtual Fashion Shows
The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on the fashion industry: stores were closing, online shopping increased, and all fashion runway shows were canceled.
High fashion brands began looking for alternative ways in which they could show off their new collection.
Catwalk shows were taken to the virtual world, and brands found unique ways in which they could still showcase their designs. In the article “How Nine Designers Used Virtual Runway Shows to Make a Statement This Season” by FashionMagazine you can find some of the unique runway shows that designers came up with.
Several designers are taking the virtual fashion shows a step further by creating fashion shows in the Metaverse. The Metaverse is a virtual-reality space where people can connect with each other.
Designers are using the Metaverse to create avatars that showcase the digital designs. This innovation, however, is still in its infancy.