You probably know who designed the sweater you’re wearing. But do you know the farmer who contributed the wool, or the company who spun the yarn? Or the factory who knit the yarn into a fabric or the manufacturer who put the item together before it reached the store? Probably not.
Information like this is getting more and more important to provide the consumers, in an age of increasing interest in products produced in fair and sustainable ways. Now, the danish designer Martine Jarlgaard has teamed up with tech companies Provenance and A Transparent Company, and Fashion Innovation Agency to create a blockchain solution to make every part of the supply chain visible. The blockchain technology, that simply put is a chain of blocks each containing a transaction verified by a number of users, makes sure that every piece of information is correct. All the consumer has to do is use the Provenance app to scan a QR code in the product go get the information.
Martine Jarlgaard has proven before to be a friend of technology as a way to make fashion better. Last year she actually hosted the world’s first mixed reality fashion show. The audience, wearing clear Hololens mixed reality goggles, could experience the show that came to life as life size holograms and at the same time walk around and explore from all angles.
Fashion shows aren’t as bound to a certain location as they used to be. In the age of streaming, the shows have gone from super exclusive to available to a broader audience. But it’s getting even better. According to Fashion and Mash, Augmented Reality startup HoloMe has created a holographic version of a fashion show with British brand RIXO London that you can watch at home. Using a software solution, consumers can receive and project the show right in their own location via their smartphones. The project is facilitated via the Fashion Innovation Agency in London. The head of FIA, Matthew Drinkwater, is excited about the project.
“Augmented reality is going to change the way that the fashion industry creates, showcases and retails its products. The year ahead will see an explosion in opportunities for this immersive technology to totally redefine what we understand as fashion today”, he says in a statement on FIA homepage.
Want to be in the forefront of what’s cooking in the fashion tech communities right now? Check out a couple of the events that are happening this fall. Fashion Tech Week in Paris actually started yesterday and include, among other things, a fashion tech expo with 18 exhibitors in the categories Morphing Fashion, High tech Fashion and Eco-citizen fashion, and of top of that, a fashion hackathon. Moving on to Vancouver, Canada, on October 21, you’ll find Superhuman Summit that aims to explore how to advance your human potential, and where Kristina Dimitrova from Interlaced will present her vision of fashion in the future. Almost a month later, on November 17, the Deutsche Telekom Fashion Fusion Competition will take place in Berlin. Talents will compete in the three categories Connected Devices & Smart Accessories; Haute Couture & Show Fashion and Business Solutions & Smart Services. Ten finalists will then get the chance to develop their projects in an accelerator until March 2018.
One of the winners in last year’s Telekom Fashion Fusion Competition, The dress “TranSwarm Entities” of the Dutch designer Maartje Dijkstra. 3D-printing and drone technology combined.
By 2020 a large part of customer interaction in retail will be managed by Artificial Intelligence; Gartner predicts. And accordingly, AI was the focal point for many of the speakers at Shoptalk Europe that was held in Copenhagen this week. According to Fashion and Mash, several of the large retailers, like eBay, Westfield and Topshop among others, cited that AI will be the tool for making the shopping experience more personalized in the future, for instance through machine learning, visual search and natural language processing.
Screenshot from Fashwell.
What can space engineers do for haute couture? How can psychology help retailers in crisis? Read all about it in my guest column for Swedish tech mag Breakit. If you don’t speak Swedish, time to get your Google Translate going.
Speaking of MOMA and its exhibition ”Item: is fashion modern?”: Another exciting collaboration with fashion and biotech is being displayed there as well this fall. In fact it’s the dress made in collaboration with Stella McCartney and Californian company Bolt Threads, that manufactures a kind of yeast based silk that tries to imitate spider silk. This will be the first time the dress will be shown in public. And more is yet to come from the two companies, apparently. This is only the first of several items the company will be creating together, so keep your eyes open.
By 2018, your leather bag may actually be made of lab grown leather instead of leather from a cow. Yes, it’s true. I have written about Modern Meadow and their biofabricated leather on several occasions. And now, the company that grows actual leather in labs without involving dead animals (!), has started their own brand, Zoa. A few of their items are presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and their exhibition ”Items: Is fashion modern?” that runs from October 1 until January 28. In addition to that, the company is holding a pop-up exhibition in SoHo that runs until October 12, where they are presenting a wider range of material prototypes. If you’re in New York this fall, do not miss it. Zoa will launch officially in 2018.
Photo credit: Zoa/Modern Meadow