Fashion is facing many challenges, as we all now. High return rates from online sales is one, resulting in unnecessary and harmful CO2 emissions from the transports. High return rates in turn, is a result of the fact that it’s hard to get the size and fit right when you shop online.
But what if robots can save us?
Actually, a French startup has come up with a prototype that has great potential. Evueka is a robotic mannequin that can morph into any shape on demand. It doesn’t just scale up and down in size, it adapts totally to shape and body type, adjusting shoulders, chest, waist, hips, length and general robustity after the individual. This way it makes sure the clothes fit the actual person who are going to wear them, right from the start.
I’m not saying this particular product is the solution to this problem, but the idea, the concept, is certainly a step in the right direction.
Because clothes that fit, don’t need to be sent back. It’s as simple as that.
About 80 000 tons of textiles are thrown away in Sweden every year. This is something that Swedish Fashion Council is trying to help battle. On November 22 and 23, they are arranging this year’s second Circular Textile Hackathon, where companies within the fashion and textile industries, and students, innovators and entrepreneurs will put their minds together to find new, circular solutions and challenge the linear system the industry is working within today.
The hackathon is a collaboration between Swedish Fashion Council, Science Park Borås, ReTextile, Inkubatorn i Borås and Drivhuset i Borås.
Photo credit: Swedish Fashion Council
”People born in 1995 and onwards, do not want to buy stuff for the sake of owning them.”
”Saving money is going to become the new black and people won’t be as lavish with money in the next ten years (as today).”
These are the words of Jarno Vanhatapio, founder and CEO of online retailer NA-KD, who spoke at the Breakit Retail Tech 2018 in Stockholm yesterday. Although he implied that NA-KD might be having something up their sleeve to meet this demand, he also seemed slightly worried.
And I think he has a point concerning future consumer behaviour. But I wouldn’t describe this scenario as something that will afflict retail, rather than a great opportunity to grasp. If shopping is about to become totally uncool, be the first to tap into this, to change the direction and be a positive force. The corporations of the future will most likely have to take a whole new level of responsibility for what they sell and how much, anyway, so this is a great time to look into the all the ideas that are already out there within FashionTech and Retail Tech.
What is the alternative to buying stuff for the sake of owning them? Renting, for instance. There is no rule that prevents companies who sells products, to also have a rental service.
What would be a mistake though, is to interpret peoples wish to spend less, as a signal to offer more cheap stuff to buy. That’s the least thing this world needs.
Jarno Vanhatapio from NA-KD with moderator Paulina Modlitba at Breakit Retail Tech 2018.
Photo Cred: Anna Hedlund, Stil & Teknik
Good sustainable news! Fashion innovation platform Fashion for Good recently announced that they are adding five more startups to their Scaling Programme. The companies chosen range from compostable alternatives to plastics (Ecovative) to ideas rethinking water waste in apparel manufacturing (SeaChange Technologies), and will recieve support for 18 months. The other ones chosen are Natural Fiber Welding, The Renewal Workshop and Yerdle Recommerce.
Fashion for Good works on several levels to support companies who want to work towards a sustainable fashion industry. The Plug and Play Accelerator helps startups get expertise and access to funding, while the Good Fashion Fund helps companies shift to sustainable production methods. The Scaling Proramme is the level inbetween, for innovations that has passed the proof of concept-stadium, supporting them with expertise, customers and capital.
Photo credit: Fashion fo Good
The gap between digital and physical is an ongoing problem for consumers today. However, a lot of efforts are being made to bridge this gap, and now H&M is attempting one. The clothing giant recently launched a new function in their shopping app, The In-store Mode. Using that, customers kan receive storage status for specific products and also get information on what sizes are available in what stores.
Another important feature is the visual search tool, where customers can upload a photo of any given item, to see if H&M have this product or something simliar.
Screenshot from H&M IN-store Mode promo video.
Don’t throw things away! Make something new instead. Sports wear brand Nike has taken this seriously with their Nike Grind program, where they collect used athletic shoes by any brand and make not only new athletic new products but also sports surfaces, like running tracks and gym floors.
But the more the merrier, right? Earlier this year the company challenged a bunch of designers, engineers, scientists around the globe to make new things with material from the Nike Grind program.
So what come out of the contest then? Well, 35 finalists used waste materials like foam, rubber. fiber, textile and leather to create everything from yoga props to furniture. Several of the winners are being considered for further development by Nike.
Products made from Nike Grind material, by Yoga brand Yogo.
Photo credit: Nike Grind
Plastic has become somewhat of a red flag in the world of fashion. Brand after brand now declare that they’re going to ban new plastic and only use recycled alternatives like plastic from water bottles (Everlane, Courregès). Stella McCartney also just launched the new AW 2018 sports collection with Adidas, where they’re using textiles made from discarded ocean plastic and fish nets.
Of course it is great if brands can pause the use of virgin plastic and instead put all the plastic that’s already there, to use. But what happens to the clothes after the consumers are done using them? Taking care of and controlling that process should be just as important for brands of today. Because plastic is still plastic, even after it’s recycled once.
Photo credit: Stella McCartney