Clothing collections that exists only on the digital realm? It might sound strange, but in fact, it’s already a thing. Norwegian clothing retailer Carlings actually launched a digital collection back in November, and it sold out in a week, according to Vogue Business. Digital designers manipulated customer photos to make it appear like they actually wore the 19 genderless, sizeless items. And apparently they are already planning a second collection.
Although gamers have been spending real money on digital clothing for years, doing it irl might seem odd. But in fact, as people live a large portion of their lives online and and also have concerns about fashion’s impact on the environment, these ideas might actually start making sense in the future.
We are quite far from this being commonplace, though. Fashion brands in general are not yet equipped to deal with 3D modeling, and creating these collections so far remains a slow and expensive process.
Biomaterials are all the rage right now. Last week, five lucky startups was awarded the Global Change Award in Stockholm, Sweden. And three of them are in the biomaterials area: Green Nettle Texile who makes a linen like textile fiber using nettles; Dimpora, who makes a biodegradable surface material for outdoor wear and Le Qara who makes a lab grown vegan leather using microorganisms from flowers and fruit.
But it wasn’t only biomaterials that got awarded last week. Circular Fashion actually got the biggest grant of €300 000 for their tech solution for garment circularity, while Petit Pli make children’s clothes with an origami technique that allows the garment to adjust to the growing child.
The Global Change Award winners of 2019 having a selfie moment.
Photo cred: H&M Foundation
H&M are going biotech. With their new Conscious Exclusive collection, presented in LA last week, they are introducing three new innovative biomaterials. This season they’re using Italian company Orange Fiber’s silky fabric made from citrus by-products, Piñatex’s alternative to natural leather made from cellulose fibers from pineapple leaves, and Bloom Foam’s flexible foam material made from algaes.
All three companies make use of already existing resources to make new materials, while at the same time contributing to other good causes.
Orange Fiber (awarded H&M Foundations Global Change Award in 2015) use byproducts from juice production that would otherwise go to waste, while Bloom Foam turn harmful algal bloom into footwear, helping clean waters in the process. On their end, Piñatex use byproducts from agriculture while at the same time creating an additional source of income for the agricultural workers.
Pieces from H&M’s new Conscious Exclusive Collection, that will be released on April 11. From the top, a jacket with Piñatex natural leather details, a top made of Orange Fiber and Tencel and a flipflop made of Bloom Foam
Photo credit: H&M
The eyewear + sound trend is spreading. A while back Bose introduced their Frames glasses with speakers and microphones. And now here’s the latest offering in this area, a partnership between Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster and Chinese tech giant Huawei, who launched a range of smart glasses a couple of days ago, according to The Current Daily. These glasses have integrated microphones and speakers and Bluetooth technology to allow the wearer to answer calls by touching the frames and activate a voice assistant. As previously reported, several other tech giants are rumoured to work on their own varieties of smart glasses.
Ten new innovators are joining Fashion For Good and their Plug and Play Accelerator. Several of them are making new materials, an issue I will address in my upcoming full length episode of the Stil & Teknik Podcast.
Among the companies joining the sustainable textile and circular fashion innovation platform is Dimpora, who makes a waterproof membrane material without harmful chemicals. Also joining are PondTextile, who has come up with a resin material made from plant starch, that is meant to replace fossil fuel based polyester fibers, and Checkerspot, a technology platform that enables the design of new materials on a molecular level.
Yes, the time has come to start something new! Today I’m launching the very first episode of the Stil & Teknik Podcast on Soundcloud. In this podcast I’m going to explore how tech, fashion and sustainability intersect, focusing on new exciting innovations aiming at making fashion a more sustainable industry.
This is a pilot mini episode introducing the concept to listeners. In upcoming episodes I plan to make interviews with the innovators and creators of this fast evolving field. Just click this link to listen:
Speaking of Augmented Reality powered glasses: Apple might be working on its own version of AR glasses, according to Tech Crunch. Referring to a ”reliable analyst on all things Apple”, Ming-Chi Kuo, Tech Crunch reports that Apple is working on an AR headset in the form of glasses that could go into production as early as the last quarter of 2019.
It is yet unclear what the glasses would do exactly, but it seems like they will function as a display for visual content. Tech Crunch takes a guess at mapping as a possible function, which sounds reasonable. This headset won’t likely be a standalone headset, but rely on the iphone for internet connection, location services and other functions.
Apple has yet to confirm anything though.