January 30, 2015 1:11 pm

When most people think of how innovation has affected various industries, the first to come to mind are usually technology and household products. However, innovation has had an immense impact on many more types of businesses. Over the years, the fashion industry has been affected by the emergence of high-tech innovations.

1. Wearable Tech

Wearable tech has been around for a couple years now, from smartwatches to Google Glass. When it started becoming popular, many dapper men and chic women wanted to see some more fashion-forward pieces in the wearable tech realm. Attractive designs and high-quality materials set these fashionable wearable tech pieces apart from more industrial wearable technology. Designers and scientists are also working on smart fabrics which will adapt according to the environment or other conditions, including temperature, light, and sound.

2. Sustainable Fashion

In years past, the fashion industry hasn’t exactly been known for their eco-friendliness, but recently, there have been efforts from environmental groups, individuals, and retailers alike to make fashion a little “greener.” One company is working on a new dyeing method that uses air instead of water, saving energy and 75 gallons of water per one pound of fabric. Other retailers are collecting jeans and other used clothing to create insulation for homes in run-down areas.

3. 3D printing

These days, 3D printing is used in any industry you could think of, but it is especially useful in fashion. 3D printing is empowering independent designers to create their own pieces of jewelry and prototypes of clothing and other accessories. Rapid production, one-of-a-kind pieces, and the ability to produce with no minimum order quantity are advantages of using 3D printing in fashion design.

4. Digital Dressing Rooms

Shoppers are moving away from the malls and onto their portable devices. There are many advantages to online shopping, such as access to sales and a varied inventory, but one main disadvantage to online shopping is you cannot try on clothing. Online retailers have created a myriad of tools to compensate for this. One company created a tool which matches shoppers based on their various body measurements, not just a size. Another retailer shows you a virtual fitting room with a mannequin which changes shape based on the measurements you put in. This allows you to see how clothing will look on your body.

5. Streaming Fashion Shows

Fashion shows used to be invite only, but with the rise of streaming technology, anyone can watch a fashion show from their couch, regardless if the runway is in Paris or Milan. A typical fashion show can only admit a limited number of people, but there are always an overflow of consumers or investors who are ready to open their wallets. By utilizing streaming technology the designers can showcase their products to a wider audience and gather data on where their potential customers live and shop.

6. Social Media

Social media and associated advertising has changed the way consumers shop. Retailers can create a dialogue with their customers and discover which products they want to buy. Social media remarketing allows brands to place ads on social networks containing clothing they may have left in their check-out cart. On the flipside, fashion bloggers are writing reviews of various products and sharing them with their following, some gaining an audience of hundreds of thousands of consumers. Those bloggers often request samples or trial products from companies in exchange for an honest review.

7. Crowdsourcing Designs

Crowdsourcing money through a third party website is a common way to fundraise. But what about crowdsourcing ideas? Some companies have increased collaboration with their customers by reaching out for crowdsourced clothing designs. This innovative tactic promotes brand awareness and sentiment while giving the customers exactly what they want – a clothing item they have designed themselves.

The fashion industry has been heavily influenced through inventions and innovation. Because trends are fluid and ever-changing, clothing retailers can hop on board with the latest in tech innovations to appeal to their customer base and stand out among the competition.



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