The future of fashion is smart fabrics, 3 reasons why technology and fashion are the best partners in crime

The future of fashion is smart fabrics, 3 reasons why technology and fashion are the best partners in crime
Is the future of fashion smart fabrics?

Do you think smart fabrics have a future in our daily lives?

It is undeniable that our dependency on technology calls for products or services that can help us in today’s lifestyles.

A few companies in the past years have tried to get the attention of costumers to wear technology in their daily lives. The most successful ones have been smartwatches, health trackers and fitness trackers.  However smart clothing has proven to be more complex to get the same attention. Mostly because of the aesthetics and practicality.

It was only when I attended the wearable technology show  in London a few years ago that I really came to believe perhaps technology and textiles can work alongside. The reason being is that smart fabrics are offering to take something that already exists, but technology is aiming to make that performance better to fulfil a need.

If we think about it our textiles haven’t really changed since industrial times. However, our needs and behaviours have changed.  Decades ago, people didn’t use central heating or travel abroad on holidays as much as they do now. They didn’t own a washing machine. They probably didn’t buy a new outfit for every occasion for fear of getting that picture on social media wearing the same dress.

What I like about smart fabrics is that they are focusing on the end user, how is the fabric going to perform in different scenarios. There is some similarity of this in how extreme sports and active wear textiles are developed. To me this concept sounds more promising.

Some of the interesting active smart fabrics that I could see potential in evolving into something more are; 3D KnITS  MIT researchers have created a form fitting fabric that recognises the wearers activities and uses in their fabrication  conventional digital knitting technology. Another one is conductive yarns like the brand Cutecircuit these type of yarns can be woven into most conventional fabrics. More recently UK researchers have created a yarn SRMs that changes colour and shape in response to light, temperature and electricity.

Technology promises to give textiles added value and improve the possibilities of functionality and longevity. However,the question remains what is truly a need vs. entertainment today?

Do we really need a jacket that picks up a phone call from our sleeve? Or would we rather have a jacket that auto cleans itself? What about a top that plays music through sensor yarns, it may not be so important for someone that has perfectly good pair of ears, but it could be a life changer to someone that is deaf. Who decides?

The three reason I believe technology and fashion have things in common and make them compatible are;

1. Product focus

Technology and fashion are both products that focus and are designed for one or all three categories; want, need and entertain.

2. Future driven

Technology and fashion are both visionaries and are looking for the next new thing that will capture the costumer’s attention.

3. Growing passion

Technology and fashion are both driven by passion in breaking boundaries and thinking outside the box.

Technology and Fashion both make us feel better about ourselves and potential.

Could smart fabrics be the future of fashion and sustainability?

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