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
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.
H&M stock is plummeting, but are perhaps other things cooking at the Swedish multinational clothing retailer…? Well, according to the site Influencive a secret fashion tech project is brewing at the budget clothing chain. An unnamed ”credible source” was recently invited to their new technology lab in Los Angeles to witness the new project which is described as ”probably the strongest vision I’ve ever seen of what fashion will look like in the future”. All incredibly vague of course and most likely meant to be, in order to create maximum buzz for a company in great need to get their online shopping in tune with today’s customer needs. The source in question brought one thing with them after this mysterious meeting though: a website address containing nothing more than lifestyle pictures in the spirit of H&M. Want to try to interpret some kind of hidden message in to them? Go to http://www.shft7.com
The norm in fashion has always been to show your collections on the runway, but not actually sell them until six months later. More and more brands are leaving this tradition for the ”see now-buy now” model, instead making it possible for consumers to buy straight off the runway. Which is exactly what H&M is intending to do tonight, showing their latest H&M Studio Collection at the ongoing Paris Fashion Week. The show will be broadcasted live on their site, and while watching you can buy the items you like.
Swedish brand Greta Gram did something similar at Fashion Week Stockholm in August when specially invited visitors could bid on selected items via the Tradera app right after the show. Want to see the show? Tune in at 21.30.
Whether or not this model is the way to go for the future is still too early to say. Some brands have reported spikes in sales, but some are still hesitant. To me it seems like fast fashion brands like H&M now has become even faster than before, and the question is if that’s such a great move for the future.
Photo cred: H&M
Would you be willing to have an app scan your daily habits – like where you go and what you do – and translate that into a print for your unique, personalized dress? Well, whether you would or not, is not really the point. The point with the newly launched Data Dress is to show off the first collaboration between Google and Swedish Ivyrevel (owned by H&M Group), two players who have made their ambitions in the connected clothing field clear for a long time. The app is currently being tested by a number of influencers who will post their stories over the next months. Those interested can sign up for a later trial as well, ahead of the public release. This is without a question an interesting project.
But the really interesting question, is what Google + Ivyrevel is going to do next. How will they translate the experiences gained from the Data Dress into something that can be commercialized and truly useful for the customer? Tech solutions for customized clothing is a budding market for sure, especially if it makes custom clothing accessible to a lower price. Something that will in turn, likely lead to fewer returns and possibly a closer connection with customer and brand.
But customizing by collecting customer data is not going to be the way.
As a customer, a dress created this way is something you try once at best. For fun, because you can, for that special occasion. And although we’re already traceable through our phones and internet habits, I would definitely think twice before I give away my personal data to yet another player on the market. The fact that big companies already know more about us than we want to think about, is no reason to stop caring. We should never stop reflecting over, or get lazy about, our personal integrity.
Till slut stod det alltså klart att H&M gått in 20 miljoner kronor till modebloggaren Kenzas modestartup Ivyrevel. Men vad som är mer intressant är att man enligt Breakit också tänker lansera ett fashion tech lab där man ”förutsättningslöst och utan begränsningar kommer att experimentera med framtiden för mode.” Tydligen med fokus på interaktiva tyger och wearable tech. Jo jag tackar, det låter ju ytterligt intressant, får man säga! Mer sånt.
– Innovation är själva grunden för Ivyrevel. Modehuset kommer att omskapa den kreativa processen – modeindustrins gamla gränser ska överskridas genom experiment inom de fält där kreativiteten hos människor kan förstärkas av den förmåga, kreativitet och kunnande som kan skapas av maskiner, skriver man (bara aaaningens luddigt) i ett pressmeddelande.
Det blir hur som helst kul att se var detta tar vägen. En global relansering ska tydligen ske i dag, så jag får säkert anledning att återkomma i ämnet.
Swedish fashion startup Ivyrevel goes fashion tech
So H&M invests 20 million kronor in fashion blogger Kenzas fashion startup Ivyrevel – interesting! But what is even more interesting is that the startup is planning to launch a fashion tech lab where they’re ”without limitations” are going to explore with the future of fashion with focus on interactive fabrics and wearable tech. Well, I’ll just have to say ”yay” to that, don’t I?
– Innovation is the core of Ivyrevel. The fashion house is going to recreate the creative process – transcending the old limitations of the fashion industry through experimenting within the fields where creativity in people can be emphasized by the ability, creativity and knowledge that can be created by machines, they (just a tad fuzzily) say in a press release.
I certainly look forward to seeing where this might be going. They’re supposed to relaunch globally today, so I might get back to the subject shortly.