Trends and Technology That Will Change the Fashion Industry

From flared pants to skinny jeans, chunky accessories to minimalistic jewellery, fashion has gone through various phases. Over the years, it has changed so radically that some trends have become synonymous with their respective decades. Fashion is under constant metamorphosis in order to adapt, suit and reflect the needs of the present. So, what does the fashion of the future look like? We might just have a few ideas:

1. Eco-Fashion: It's a well-known fact that the fashion industry has sizable impact on the environment. Not only does the industry use (and waste) millions worth of resources, it is also responsible for a significant amount of environmental pollution. However, moral objections have also been raised against the industry’s use of animals for testing and acquiring raw materials such as fur and leather.

The trend of Eco-Fashion seeks to rectify some of its effects. One of the pioneers in this field is the company Modern Meadow. According to their website, “Modern Meadow is a dedicated team of individuals guided by a collective belief: biofabrication unlocks the power of nature to offer new design possibilities. Everything we do is rooted in human ingenuity’s ability to make tomorrow better than today.”

Modern Meadows’ ingenuity lies in the way they have used collaborative technologies that tie biology, design and material science together (Their organically farm-grown leather has taken the industry―and the world―by storm).

2.Bio-Couture: As covered before, the fashion industry aids pollution more than most other industries. Some go as far as to claim that it is the biggest polluter in the world right after the oil conglomerates. Therefore non-polluting, alternative technology is the need of the hour. In this vein, another initiative to curb pollution caused by the Fashion Industry is the trend of bioengineered materials to create clothing.

A good example of this is the recent trend of using organically grown raw materials without aid of pesticides (which has detrimental effects on land) such as cotton, as well as innovative new materials such “biodegradable bio-steel” and MicroSilk.

MicroSilk is silk that has been bioengineered to mimic real silk but uses substantially less financial and water resources. This company is paving the way for silk to be far more sustainable in the coming years.

3. 3-D Printing in Fashion: 3-D printing is not only an innovative idea, it is also one that will save the industry a huge amount of financial resources, and will be better for the environment in the long run. For consumers it will make certain brands more accessible.

3-D printing is progressively becoming cheaper, making it possible for almost anyone to own a 3-D printer at home. With a 3-D printer, you can potentially find something you want to buy and simply print it out.

The availability of 3-D printing services opens several new doors for the industry. Very soon, people will be able to not only print jewelry and accessories, but fabric as well. That means, soon people will be able to look up clothes they want to own, print it, and wear it―all within a span of minutes.

4.Smart, Programmable Fashion: Fashion is continuously adapting itself to the conditions around it. The crux of our fashion revolution will be efficiency. In order to appeal to consumers in the future, fashion must be both, efficient and aesthetically appealing.

Another glimpse into where the future of fashion is at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, on exhibit is a piece of art called the Hygroscope. Hygroscope is so revolutionary because Hygroscope (a sculpture) moves morphs in response to humidity―without any assistance from computers.

In the future, because of leaps in nanotechnology and material science, we will be able to produce "Smart Fashion", i.e. fashion that changes and adapts based on external conditions without compromising style.

5. Self-Cleaning Clothes: Perhaps being the worst part of being a fashion enthusiast is the sheer amount of cleaning up that is involved. Laundry is always a pain, and one thing that almost everyone dreads. But the good news is, all of this might be a thing of the past.

While it might seem like a dream, it is something that could be a possibility in the future. Researchers in Australia experimented with fabrics and materials that use special nanostructures that degrade organic matter when exposed to sunlight.

Though researchers have yet to find a way to create these structures on an industrial scale, it may not be too long until they do. If it happens, we will not have to slave away hours cleaning. Not only that, it might help water conservation―an issue that is currently a grave concern.

Fashion is so deeply integrated into people’s lives that it is almost impossible to define its nature. As a fluid industry, one cannot predict which direction it will take because fashion is inevitably what the people wearing it are. What we do know is that whatever trends the future holds for us, it will be inspired from the immediate needs of that era. From biodegradable materials, in order to restore the environment, to moving away from resource-intensive traditional technology, fashion of the future will have one goal―sustainability.

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