Tuesday, August 23, 2022


By Tess DiNapoli

Photos: Unsplash & Pexels

Technology has impacted every facet of our lives in recent years – from social media to the way we travel, and how we treat certain diseases. Because of evolving technologies, our lives have been changed in ways we could never have imagined. In many ways, this has led to positive change. Evolving technologies also have the potential to positively change our future.

This might not immediately come to mind when we think about technology, but developing tech has the power to impact the fashion industry. In fact, it already has.

You might not realize it, but technology has significantly impacted the way consumers shop, the way businesses run, and how fashion impacts the world. If you’re looking for more specifics, read on to see how new technologies have impacted the fashion business.

Brands can better manage their inventories

In recent years, some businesses have tried out the made-to-order model. Made-to-order businesses are organized around the idea that products should be made once a confirmed order has been placed by a customer.

This model has been around for highly specialized and custom products for some time, but it’s become more popular recently with the ubiquity of e-commerce, as opposed to brick-and-mortar stores. With this model, clothing companies lessen the potential risk of having unsold inventory with no way of knowing when it will sell.

Producing clothing items after customers have ordered them also allows businesses to manage all aspects of their production process effectively. They can ensure they only purchase the materials they need and avoid the surplus stock. This saves on warehouse space, as well.

Customized fashion puts more power in consumers’ hands

Photo: Unsplash

Along with the rising popularity of made-to-order business models has been the prevalence of customized clothing that’s dictated by consumer interests and preferences.

New fashion design software systems (like Modo and TUKAcad) have made it possible for designers to create patterns according to customers’ requests. This new software has allowed companies to digitally sketch designs and create 3D models. This has the potential to impact designs and patterns, and even allow brands to offer diverse sizing. This is great news for plus-size boutiques that want to better cater to their clientele.

This has the effect of giving customers more power over what they purchase. Custom clothing brings designers closer to their clientele as well, and provides them with first-hand knowledge of what customers want. There’s never been a better time to be a fashion consumer.

Artificial intelligence provides efficient customer service

Custom, digital sketches, and 3D designs aren’t the only ways that technology can enhance the customer experience. You’ve probably noticed the newfound prevalence of chatbots and tracking cookies on clothing websites. These two technologies are just part of the new tools businesses have in optimizing customer experiences when online shopping.

AI also includes algorithms that match customers with products they’d be interested in, boosting sales and saving consumers’ time spent looking for the right item.

Artificial intelligence additionally has the ability to help companies save time by efficiently tracking their inventory. Trend forecasting is another benefit of combining AI and fashion – instead of relying on data gathering and observation, brands can quickly set themselves up for success by knowing about trends well ahead of time.

Photo: Pexels

New fabrics provide sustainability

Many recent technologies have the potential to make fashion more sustainable, but the most important (and accessible) aspect of this is the presence of new, innovative fabrics.

Clothing brands and online boutiques have begun to prioritize fabrics that are both made and sourced sustainably. There are a few ways that a fabric can be deemed sustainable – most of it has to do with where the fabric comes from, how it’s processed, and where it ends up. There are a few certifications that allow consumers to verify if the item they’re buying is sustainable.

Some common examples of sustainable fabrics are organic cotton, linen, and hemp. Organic hemp and linen produce less waste while organic cotton is grown with fewer pesticides and chemicals.

Fabrics that involve an element of recycling – like Lyocell and Econyl – involve less waste and, sometimes, reduce the number of new chemicals being released during production.

One of the most interesting sustainable fabrics is Qmonos, which is a synthetic alternative to silk that uses spider genes and microbes. This fabric is vegan-friendly and 5 times stronger than steel!

Customers are looking for sustainable options more and more these days. Savvy businesses will provide their base with a variety of fabric options that use less energy and resources during the production processes.

Mobile commerce is getting easier and easier

Photo: Pexels

A lot of consumers have begun to shop on their smartphones – especially on apps like Instagram, which has recently switched to a more shopping-friendly interface. Apple pay has made it simple for customers to purchase items with a wave of their digital wallets. A phone is now all you need to efficiently browse, purchase, and have your items shipped directly to you.

This trend will only continue to grow. Brands’ social media presence will contribute to their growth and sales. The more you post and interact with your customer base on social media, the more opportunities you’ll have to make a sale.

The expansion of e-commerce extends to both women’s wholesale and second-hand clothing, as well. Depop and Vinted have apps where users can buy and sell vintage items. Any type of shopping you need is now done online and available on everyone’s phones.

Fashion is one of the biggest and most enduring businesses in the world. With the advent of new technologies, fashion brands and businesses have the opportunity to expand their audience and volume of sales.

Younger consumers are seeking more ways to connect with companies and much of this potential rests upon their use of social media. Our lives have become inescapably intertwined with the digital world – businesses have taken notice and adapted accordingly.

Technology will only continue to advance and this will directly impact the way people shop, and buy their clothing, and the way that fashion businesses sell products.

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