Designing Sustainable Fashion: Technologies to Shape a New Business Model
Consuming has become easier with online marketplaces over the last few years. The way we shop is changing as a result of technological advancements. Online selling provides an opportunity to increase the market’s potential with the development of social networking apps, augmented reality, and retail outlets. Brands and stores are adjusting to this new experience in order to reach out to a new generation of customers. Sustainable fashion is also taking advantage of this huge opportunity.
Fashion is witnessing changes and mindsets that have the potential to turn this model around and put a path forward toward a more sustainable apparel business model and ecosystem. The fashion industry has one of the greatest environmental footprints of any industry on the planet, despite the fact that measuring the full extent of its influence is practically difficult.
Currently, the apparel industry is embracing new sustainable fashion technology options that have the potential to flip today’s wasteful production process and pave the way for a more sustainable business model over time.
Virtual-try-on has gained prominence in several areas of the fashion business in the last few years as a result of technological advancements in the industry.
Stores may gain extra data to better analyze body shape and develop better fitting clothing as consumers use mobile body scanning tools to better size online purchases, driving reducing product return rates owing to AR clothing try-on solutions. For instance, 3DLOOK developed YourFit, the first solution to integrate virtual try-on with fit and sizing recommendations on the market. Return rates have dropped by up to 48 percent for some of the solution’s early adopters.
Digital fitting rooms
Product fitting is one of the most difficult obstacles that most brands face. Trying on clothes in augmented reality appears to be an ideal solution for online stores. Customers can try on clothing on a 3D avatar without having to wear them. As a result, augmented reality for clothes delivers a tailored and engaging experience for both customers and brands.
Alternative and eco-friendly textiles
Cotton and polyester are currently the most extensively used fabrics in the fashion sector. They’re also to blame for a large increase in our carbon footprint each year, polluting the air and filling landfills to capacity all around the world. Both of these resources have a huge negative impact on the ecosystem.
Meanwhile, several fashion manufacturers are recognizing this problem and employing technological advancements to turn food scraps into sustainable fabrics and leathers.
Piñatex, an innovative eco-friendly substitute to leather created from pineapple leaf fiber by Ananas Anam, and muskin, a vegetable leather made from mushrooms, are great examples of alternative textiles.
Circular fashion model
In order for fashion to progress, it must embrace the concept of circularity, since customers become more conscious of the vast quantity of trash produced by the fashion industry.
A circular fashion model can include collaborating with a resale site like TheRealReal, as Stella McCartney has done, to develop an incentive program that functions as a client retention tool or implementing brand-specific return programs like Patagonia.
Besides, the circular fashion model, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, could decrease Europe’s carbon dioxide emissions by half by 2030 and reduce the usage of other resources like fuel, pesticides, fertilizers, and water by 53% by 2050.
For brands interested in how to reduce returns in ecommerce, there is also the possibility of improving the efficiency of the fashion distribution and returns processes, as well as getting more use out of second-hand clothing.
Automation & Fashion on-demand
Fast fashion and mass production have resulted in large volumes of garbage and landfill dumping. An unintended outcome of the pandemic has been the establishment of a completely new business model and more e-commerce advancements in less than a year. Consumers are in power now, and they value both individualized experiences and environmental sustainability. Fashion’s next big thing is on-demand design and manufacturing, and it will have a tremendous impact in the future.
Digital transformation has the capability to minimize wasteful practices in the fashion industry. Forward-thinking businesses are already turning away from wasteful production methods and gradually embracing technology to make major improvements. This is both related to the growing number of environmentally concerned customers and improving the brand’s market performance. Taking use of emerging technologies to shape sustainable fashion will benefit everyone in the clothing supply chain.
Read more: Online Fitting and 3D Body Models: The Digital Future of Fashion