Latest Technology Trends in Apparel Industry

Latest Technology Trends in Fashion Industry

Shubham Anil Jain
Department of Textiles (Fashion Technology)
DKTE’S Textile and Engineering Institute, Ichalkaranji, India
Intern at Textile Learner
Email: shubhamajain125@gmail.com

 

Introduction
As we are in 21st century and one can’t deny the impact of technology in our daily lives and lifestyle. There is no any business domain or business model that has not been impacted by this technological advancement, including the fashion industry. Nowadays, many well renowned and popular fashion brands are taking help of technology to get benefit and advancement in their field. As a result, custom software development has become latest trends for fashion industry. There are many developments of customized websites and mobile applications which help designers to establish and create a digital voice for their brands.

Same like fashion, there are always some technology trends and latest developments which are followed by people and fashion industry. Similarly, due to the technological advancement, some digital trends and developments are predominant in the fashion industry as well. Technological developments are modifying and upgrading the way people shop, through social media apps, retail shops and augmented realities. Brands have understood that adapting to this change is must in order to get their products in front of their customer. Creating and developing a new and different experience can set a retailer apart from the rest in a huge fashion world.

Technology Trends in Fashion Industry

1. Wearable Technology:
With this technological trend, one can implant multimedia, sensor, and wireless communication technology into people’s clothes and apparel which support gesture and eye movement operation, and many interactive ways, mainly explore and create directly wearable intelligent devices. It is one of the most obvious technological trends in fashion industry with the emergence of wearable devices like smart watches and fitness trackers and many more.

Wearable Technology
Figure 1: Wearable Technology

By integrating and utilizing various materials and precious metals, high-end materials, and even gemstones, techy startups are now focusing on activity trackers and sensors into stylish pieces of jewellery, especially trendy rings, bracelets, and watches. Now, fashion leaders are trying to merge various form and function to make wearables more stylish and functional. Many fashion brands and startups are collaborating up to create connected bracelets, rings, and necklaces. Past collaborations were Tory Burch and Fitbit, as well as Swarovski and Misfit Wearables.

2. 3D Printing and Lasers:
In today’s scenario, 3D printing is becoming essential in the design and development of clothing and footwear, as it gives a biggest advantage for producers to prototype in real time, instantly modifying and altering in a way that’s a lot more efficient and precise than it once was. Now, cutting-edge 3D printing technologies and lasers are available which designers can use to create customized pieces quickly, affordably, and with significantly less effort. There are 3D custom software which has ability of virtual browsing, visually impact-full prints and richly textured fabrics.

3D Printing and Lasers
Figure 2: 3D Printing and Lasers

3D printing is also hugely impactful to footwear industry. Popular brands like New Balance and Reebok both use 3D printing to print elements of their shoes, including laces and soles.

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3. Internet of Things (IoT) for Fashion:
Fashion industry has adopted the concept of Internet of Things (IoT) where 70% of retailers around the globe are utilizing this concept in their business to improve overall customer experience and the performance of company. For example, Nadi X is yoga pants which have sensors in them. This is one such product and there are many more products to come in future. IoT driven products will help retailers to create a personalized experience for their customers.

Nadi X- smart yoga pants
Figure 3: Internet of Things (IoT) for Fashion

Presently, IoT in fashion is not only limited to application of wearable but  also involves the stitching of invisible sensors onto cloth fabrics or enhancing interconnected apparels to perform various functions such as advising the user about the product’s materials, helping in detecting the product if its lost or even in facilitating style tips. The Internet of Things (IoT) basically makes the tasks easy for its users and helps them in cutting down the loss and in enabling more efficient and effective management of inventory with the help of its tracking feature.

4. Mobile Commerce for Fashion:
Nowadays, smart phones are considered as cool and important gadgets but they are the biggest supporter of eCommerce. Consumer can easily search the market for easy online shopping where payments are made digitally. Lately, shoppers has  given priority for making purchases online, giving reasons of convenience and less struggle time. Seeing the importance of technological advancement, fashion industry has shifted focus on Development for Mobile applications that are very simple to use and help buyer purchase online.

Mobile Commerce for Fashion
Figure 4: Mobile Commerce for Fashion

For example, when we talk about Instagram App, it has a shopping feature that makes shopping of the product easy, just by clicking on a liked item to be displayed to the product page to make a purchase. So, fashion industry is paying attention to give convenience and ease to the users so that you are able to expand on your existing business.

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5. Blockchain:
Blockchain is a best tool for transparency, traceability and efficiency in the supply chain management. The best feature of this is that it allows all of its members, from carriers and banks, to intermediaries and suppliers, to be in connect and exchange information, documents and data, directly and securely.

Blockchain Technology in fashion industry
Figure 5: Blockchain Technology in fashion industry

But what is blockchain and how does it work?
Blockchain is mostly a record-keeping technology behind bitcoin and digital currency. “Blocks” on the blockchain are particularly made up of pieces digital data which stores the  information about different transactions like the date, time, and dollar amount of your most recent purchase, as well as who is involved in the transactions. However, they also store the information which helps to distinguish them from other blocks, using a unique code called hash.  This can be used to effectively track and keep records of clothing apparel and supply chains through different technologies like track and trace, inventory management and many more.

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6. 3D Scanning in the Apparel Industry:
It is very difficult for the customers to find the perfect fit when shopping for clothes online, but 3D scanning and garment fitting tech could change that. Retailers are hoping that this technological advancement could also reduce returns. TG3D Studio, for an individual, has developed a 3D body scanner which ensures a tailored fit. It works in such a way that users get scanned via an app and can dress up their avatar in different garments to see how they fit.

3D Body Scanning Technology
Figure 6: 3D Scanning in the Fashion Industry

Virtual try-on solutions are being offered by many fashion brands as well. Israeli startup Zeekit’s platform has allowed shoppers to virtually try on clothing items from online stores. This technology is already embedded into the websites of major retailers, including Walmart, Macy’s, and ASOS. Fit:Match has also come up with 3D body scanning solutions to help with sizing. First, a 3D camera will scan the in-store shoppers. The software then asks users about individual preferences and priority before suggesting a list of different clothing items from retail partners. Customers also get an ID that they can be even used in the future and when shopping online.

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7. Livestreaming and Ambushing Social Media:
Nowadays, the excitement and craze of social media platforms are very high and it also offers a wealth of data that can help luxury and fashion brands find new insights and sales opportunities. Heuritech, it is a Paris-based tech startup, which specially uses AI to provide trend forecasting. The company’s platform analyzes millions of images which are available on social media to forecast which patterns, designs, and items or any design elements which are in demand with different consumer groups. The software also helps to predicts product trends that will be in demand in the next 12 months.

Livestream shopping
Figure 7: Livestream shopping

Livestream shopping is trendy and creative way used by many brands. In China, for instance, livestreaming is predicted to generate around a fifth of the country’s total online sales by 2022, according to HSBC and Qianhai Securities. There are many live video platforms such as Kuaishou, Bytedance, that are rapidly adding commerce features.

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8. Fashion Shows as Tech Events:
Currently, all fashion brands and designers have their concerned on fashion shows that have to go in a huge space and was being a memorable moment for the audience. As a result of technology it is being widely used in creating a memorable runway experience through 3D projections, 360 degree view and other tech gadget to give an impressive look and feel to the show. There are various custom made software which are available that helps in programming in different aspects such as event lights, fountains, music and other gadgets during the fashion show. Technology is heart here for making the entire event a complete success for the brand.

Fashion shows as Tech Events
Figure 8: Fashion Shows as Tech Events

9. Beacons and Geo-fencing for Fashion:
The primary objective of integrating this technology in fashion industry is to give a more customized experience to consumers while shopping. Beacons are small sensors that are simply kept in retail stores that will be connected to smart phones and push content in them. This helps fashion retailers to pass commercial content to the consumer’s mobile device; which particularly helps in promotion of fashion brands through dispatching of various coupons on mobile devices. Just imagine locking a broader element of relevant customers by offering them a 15% discount coupon on the retail brand. Such technology is emerging and powerful and yet helpful in getting more revenue to one’s business.

Beacons and Geo-fencing for Fashion
Figure 9: Beacons and Geo-fencing for Fashion

10. Mobile Enterprise Resource Management for Fashion:
Fashion industry is highly benefiting from Mobile ERP applications which highlight the live KPI dashboards, expense reporting and other important information which is required to keep the businesses up and running seamless. To talk about vendor, inventory and procurement management, these parts plays a huge role in the fashion industry. Any fall down on the quantity or any miscommunication with the vendor can lead to an emergency situation. Through Mobile ERP app, the business management side of any retail brand is effectively handled and managed. Therefore, one of the most useful custom fashion technology solutions is a Mobile ERP.

Mobile Enterprise Resource Management for Fashion
Figure 10: Mobile Enterprise Resource Management for Fashion

Conclusion
It would not be wrong to say that the fashion industry has been taken over by technology just like all other industries. In a few years, these technology trends will be adopted by the entire textile and fashion industry, leading way for other trends to take place. Upcoming and established brands canupgrade their industry with Web development solutions or mobile-based apps. As one of the biggest industries in the world, generating an estimated $1.5 trillion a year, it will not be surprising to learn that the way fashion will operated in future will be totally different. With the technological advancements in fashion industry, will be beneficial to both consumers and brands in terms of cost, shopping experience and customer satisfaction.

References

  1. Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, Technology adoption in the apparel industry: insight from literature review and research directions, March 2021.2
  2. How Technology Is Shaping The Future Of The Fashion Industry by Hadari Oshri, October 1, 2018 https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2018/10/01/how-technology-is-shaping-the-future-of-the-fashion-industry/
  3. Top 9 Technology Trends Reshaping The Fashion Industry In 2021, Sayamkochar, March 31, 2021
  4. Fashion Innovation – Top 22 Technologies Creating The Future Of Fashion, By: Martin Smith, Jan 2021.
  5. 8 Technology Trends That Are Shaping the Fashion Industry by Clara Rose, 14 Oct 2020 ·
  6. What’s New In Apparel Manufacturing Technology? By Mike Cutsey, 14th August 2020.

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