04 New Technologies Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore

04 New Technologies Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore

In past few years, the new technologies have improved almost all areas of our lives. If we talk about textile and apparel sector then it is not only improve the utilities of the products but also improve its general appearance. If we look at the past inventions of new technologies then we can see that the smart products are not having enough eye catchy attributes. And we can’t compare these hi tech wearables with regular high fashion wears. Because during its development, the developer and garment designer both have to compromise on many things. Although, the main hi tech features were normally achieved in past inventions yet the shape and current trend of fashion was normally overlooked. This is why; you could see a long list of wearables which were disliked by the consumers due to its unattractiveness or failure to provide optimum functions.

New Technologies distinctive Enhancements:

Despite of earlier failures or less consumer’s response, the urge for better wearable in both attractiveness and functions has increased. And every failure or less expected results of the newly invented wearables gave us guidelines for better future products. The contribution of new technologies in shape of nanotechnology and smart materials has finally introduced some distinctive smart textile products. As we have discussed in our previous articles that how smart wearable technology is playing a vital role in health and military sector. Besides these two sectors, the fashion industry players have also partnered with smart technologies organizations to come up with some smart and striking wearables.

Biotechnology Leather: (Modern Meadow)

Although the artificial leather was considered as replacement of leather in the past yet it didn’t fit well in all leather products. As its appearance and feeling was not as good as the real leather has. So, the company named “Modern Meadow” has worked out on this thing and introduced environment friendly leather which was grown in a lab. With the help of biotechnology, they produce collagen from few real skin cells of animal. And that collagen turns into real leather through further process of two weeks’ time. This whole process is called biofabrication. The said company already exhibited few of its products and received much appreciation from audience.

As per company’s executives, their full line of consumer’s products will be released by next year. And interesting thing is that you can develop any animal leather by following standard procedures. It means in future, we can even see those leather made products whose real animal leather usage is banned.

Spider Silk Fabric:  (Bolt Threads)

A team of scientists, engineers, and apparel experts launched such fabric which categorized under the best eco-friendly creations of new technologies. These engineers and scientists follow the nature for developing man-made silk. They produce a fiber from corn syrup which was fed to yeast fermentation. This fermentation creates protein that was harvested and purified into a powder. This process created fibers which were converted into yarn and this yarn knitted the spider silk tie.

The spider silk proteins are not new for the retailers as it is already using in cosmetic and medical devices. The Bolt Thread sources their raw materials from Midwest farmers. And their manufacturing facility is in North Carolina. They have already made partnership with famous fashion designer “Stella McCartney” for its spider silk product line. And both companies are expecting huge response from the customer who loves to buy vegan fabrics (made of without the need of animals).

Mars Growing Boots:

Mars boots are the joint efforts of Liz Ciokajlo and Maurizio Montalti and also considered as sparkling product in current new technologies. Keeping in view the scenario where the resources are limited like living on Mars then such type of products would be blessing which are fueled by feet’s sweat. Yes, it’s true these shoes are made from mycelium (a mushroom like fungus) and grows with human feet’s sweat. In space ship, the astronauts normally filter their urine and sweat to make it drinkable water. So, these shoes are also best for exploring Mars as the earth material like Gore tex is not workable at Mars climate. On the other hand, the wearer of these shoes giving sweat to the mycelium to grow so the shoes never ruined or damaged.

Customized Clothes and Shoes:

Fast fashion trends are overburdening the economy with too many waste clothes. Due to quick changes in fashion trends, the current fashion manufacturers couldn’t cater the needs of every client.  The fashion lovers facing a lot of fit issues after having their favorite wears into their wardrobe. So, the result comes out with the sheer load on our environment in shape of waste clothes.  Keeping in view the said scenario, the British fashion brand named “Unmade” come up with ultimate solution. With help of new technologies, they developed software and fabrication tools that allow its clients to design their own dresses.  Now by-following these new technologies, an individual can make changes in pattern and design their fashion-wear according to his/her choice. And after finalizing everything, the created design file would develop customize dress on 3D knitting machine.

Similarly, in footwear, Adidas collaborated with Carbon and came up with customized sneakers (ADDYY, +3.16%). The client can change the color and pattern of shoes as per his needs and desire. The 3D printing method facilitates its clients to produce small and customize runs. By adopting such new technologies, we can save our environment from thousand tons of wasted wears.

Some Ending Lines:

This is not the end as there are also so many brands which are working tirelessly to offer sustainable products. Some are on prototype phase and others are on mass production planning phase.  But here, one thing is important that a distinctive idea has lost its uniqueness if it’s not mass-production supportive. As many of us already came-across so many announcements in past which sounded unique but failed to produce mass bulk. Or the mass bulk production couldn’t conform all products’ described features. So, the brands which we discussed above and others which are on developing phase need to be very careful while claiming any feature. Because the awareness level of the consumer is on its optimum level and we can’t back off our wordings later on.

How You Can Save Environment from Waste Clothes

How You Can Save Environment from Waste Clothes

The fashion industry is swinging on its full pace. Since clothing is a vital part of human’s life and became the eighth largest segment in day-to-day household spending. The big players are constantly launching new and stylish trends with highly competitive prices. Although it sounds good to follow the fast paced fashion trends with comparatively cheap prices. But it is creating a sheer load on our environment in shape of textile waste. The clothing consumption has significantly increased for last 03 decades. And according to Greenpeace study, today we buy 60% more clothing than we did 15 years ago. The fast fashion trend and our crazy buying behavior are polluting our environment desperately. Unfortunately, the fashion industry was estimated the second largest waste producer after Oil and Gas.

According to “The Atlantic”, the average North American consumer buys 64 items of clothes per anum. It means, an average consumer buys 1.2 garments per weak. And he/she creates 82 pounds of unwanted clothes per anum for the environment.  On the other hand, as per Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs data, it is estimated that 1,130,000 tons of clothing was purchased in UK in 2016. And this was almost 180,000 tons higher than year 2012. And as per the research findings, the average clothing life in UK is around 3.3 years. Whereas, the other research shows that it is only 2.2 years and then it discarded or donated. For the last ten years, the turnover of waste clothes in UK has been significantly increased.

Brands Efforts Toward Waste Clothes:

Since the contribution of fashion industry towards environment pollution is increasing day by day. So, the joint efforts are being carried out by the big players to sustain the environment. The below you will see the story of some brands from the them:

H&M:

The big chain H&M launched its Conscious Collection which is made with recycled material. Not only this, the Garment Collection (Year-2013) range was also made with recycled material. As per company’s announcement, you can drop your old clothes/home textiles of any brand to our local store. We will recycle it and give it new life. Up-till now, the company claimed that they have collected 32000 tons waste garments to give them a new life. Moreover in 2017, H&M offered $5.8 million to Hong Kong Research Institute of Textile and Apparel to develop such chemical technology which recycle blended textile.

Sainsbury:

The famous retailer Sainsbury in collaboration with Oxfam, trying to urges its customers to donate unwanted clothes to its collection points. But as of now, the overall result regarding donation is not as good as expected. As per UK research findings, around 49% respondents don’t donate clothes because they are worn out or dirty. Whereas, 16% respondents don’t have enough time to sort out old clothes or visit collection center for donation. And 6% respondents don’t know this thing that the clothes can be recycled.

Levi & Strauss:

The same thing Levi’s did in 2016, it has partnered with EVRNU and created first sustainable jeans. This jean was made with 05 discarded T-shirt’s renewed fiber. And this “511” jeans was not only use waste clothes but also use 98% less water than virgin cotton products.

Inditex:

The Spanish brand Inditex is teaming up with Lenzing for its 2016-2020 environment strategy plan. The Lenzing recycles its off cuts into cotton Lyocell mix. This project will start with 500 tons of textile waste and with an aim to uplift it around 3000 tons within few years. As per company’s statement, they will provide enough fabric to Lenzing to produce 48 million garments. Moreover, they are collaborating with local charity Cáritas, now they are planning to install 1500-2000 garments collection bins in Spain’s major hubs.

Keeping in view the current consumer’s buying trend and behavior and it’s directly effect on environment. We need to restrict our buying behavior and extend the garment’s wearing life. If we add nine months in current life then we can definitely reduce environmental impact around 20-30%. While buying a new cloth, we need to see this whether we could use the same around 30 times? If no then leave this item. And for this, always buy quality garments and don’t prefer quantity over quality. And last but not least, Donate, Donate and Donate. As this is the only way, we could play a healthy and positive contribution towards our environment.

How Wearable Technology Supports Fashion & Health Sector

How Wearable Technology Supports Fashion & Health Sector

The growing usage of wearable technology is transforming the pattern of people’s life.  And now its application in fashion industry is revolutionizing the whole industry’s trends and objectives. As per Allied Market Research, in year 2015, the wearable market was valued US$ 19.6 billion. And till year 2022, it is expected to grow around US$57.5 billion (with a compound growth 16.2% annually).  Whereas, the growth rate of smart wearable textile is 40% annually and with a prediction of US$2.5 billion by year 2021.

The usage of sensors, heating elements or even battery charging devices in wearables is a normal example in smart textile. The military, hospitals and sports wears are the best potential segments for such kind of smart wearable. And by adding such gadgets, you can check the heart rate, breathing, skin temperature, perspiration level etc.

Wearable Technology Health Gains:

As discussed earlier, the usage of the wearable gadgets contributing a lot in the health sector. By applying these wearables you can get better results of patient treatment with physical injury and functional disabilities. And not only this, you can also avoid injury for patients at risk. Moreover, with the help of muscle and motion sensors, you can get useful data of the patient’s biomechanics. And this will be helpful for the health experts to advice better prescription.

As far as the affects of these gadgets on human health is concern, this thing already under consideration of the tech experts. So, the frequencies levels are in between 450MHZ and 2700 MHZ. Whereas, the power levels are 0.1 Watts and 2 Watts (which are safe for human health and body).

World’s Efforts Towards Wearable Technology:

Since the R&D work is going in recent phase so the quality parameters are considered on top priority basis. So, the quality of smart wearable textile is especially develop on high performance features and standards.  As per the Vice-President of Intertek Testing Services, ” all wearable technology had to be carefully tested to ensure it met strict manufacturing requirements”. Anyhow, the research and development teams are striving their best to launch such technologies which are best both for human and the world’s environment. And for this, a lot of projects are already in queue from the different nations of the world (See our other article named Wearable Technology and E-Textile)

Why Sustainability in Fashion Industry is Essential

Why Sustainability in Fashion Industry is Essential

Sustainability is a big and productive step towards economic reform. The toxic rivers/lakes, cancer-causing pollution levels and mass water shortages became a big challenge for the future world. Sustainability is no more a dream but a practice which pushed 2000 factories to implement corrective action through its Green Supply Chain project. It’s a complete guideline that how does one can use the natural resources without impacting external environment. And for this, the manufacturing facilities are trying various methodologies to maintain equilibrium, by minimizing exploitation of natural resources.

Big companies/brands have the power to influence the beginning of a supply chain. And they can also ensure this thing that both working conditions and materials sourcing reach a high ethical standard. And the positive thing is that they are doing good job for this as The Pulse of the Fashion Industry Report proved this thing that the big players performing good as compare to mid size and smaller companies. Even then, the big names need to do much more because they are one who damaged the environment the most.

Companies Sustainability Initiatives:

A number of clothing companies including M&S, Asos, Levi Strauss, Nike, Kering and H&M have all strive to ensure this thing that the 100% cotton which they will use for the garments should come from sustainable sources by 2025. Similarly,The VF Corporation’s brand named Wrangler has already launched a pilot program. The said program is helping the US cotton farmers reach the next level in sustainable growing practices. Here we should also mention the productive efforts of renowned jeans brand “Levi Strauss”. As it is pledging USD 350,000 to develop innovations in the apparel supply chain. The less water intensive products, expansion of a normal indigo dyeing facility and developing wastewater treatment solutions more accessible to artisan workshops are also part of this part of this project.

H&M also took some major steps in this area and their new conscious exclusive collection and their conscious choice range. H&M’s conscious exclusive collection is normally launched every April and pushes forward in both sustainability and style. The Collection features pieces made from the pioneering sustainable material BIONIC®, a polyester made from recovered plastic from our shorelines; a productive and healthy step for protecting our oceans from plastic pollution. Moreover, H&M has announced to share their product’s (Conscious Exclusive Ladies collection) manufacturing journey with us. And everyone can read about the materials, the factories where the garments were made and much more at their official website www.hm.com.

Sustainability Gains:

In the future, it will be really interesting to see that how more brands (especially mid size and small companies) will come and join the sustainability as part of their core social, economic and moral responsibility. And this would be the time to see that how it will affect the overall fashion industry. Along with that, the end user also has an obligation to be sustainability aware. Because, the understanding of sustainability in the young experts will make them the game changers. And the hope for the transformation of the industry can be possible in the next decade.

The Global Apparel Industry Analysis: Expectations vs Reality

Apparel Industry Analysis

The World’s global economy has been moving at a slow pace and its reflection clearly observes on the world garment market. This slow pace is not only affecting the import/export oriented groups but you can also experience it in your traditional local markets. In actual, the overall apparel industry is dangling on various factors. Sometime, it’s pace disturbed by the country’s economic growth which directly hurt the purchase power of the end users. And sometime it hurt from the internal situations or policies of the manufacturing country’s Government.

Apparel Industry Analysis:

If we analyze on the current apparel industry (manufacturing countries) situation then we can say that only the few countries from the Asian apparel countries (like Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Vietnam) remain satisfactory for last two years. But the overall growth of the clothing manufacturing concern has been relatively weaker about 08% to 10% during year 2016-17. In reverse, the revenues of clothing exporters and the local market focused players grew about CAGR of 13%-14% during 2011-15.

UK Apparel Industry Analysis:

Let’s have a look on apparel business situation of year 2016 in UK which was consider as heaviest year of decline. But despite of heavy decline, the new opening percentage was also encouraging in the said year. Across 2,700 UK locations there were 45,986 new beginnings and 47,636 endings. There are certain factors which directly affect the British high street business. It include online shopping trend increasing, increase in minimum wage rate, slump after Brexit, the store closures numbers increased are the main factors which force the retailers to close their businesses. And some big groups like BHS and Jaeger have also found themselves in administration.

US Apparel Industry Analysis:

Same is the case of US apparel market, the US imports from all sources was down around 13.6% month on month in February to 2.09bn (SME). Since China is the biggest suppling country of US, its export also fell down around 16.8% year on year to 785m (SME). Whereas the second big supplying country named Vietnam faced a decline of 8.9%. And the same declining phase Bangladesh and Cambodian market faced during the said period.

The total US apparel imports of February/17 was 14% down which is approximately -0.77bn down from previous month. As per the recent figures of about March, it also proved another tough month for the US apparel retailers. As they were still reporting the lower foot traffic (despite of Easter).

In The Nutshell:

Based on current global situation, there must be a healthy collaboration of apparel selected groups (from all over the world). These groups/clusters should organize discussion events frequently along with that create platforms for sharing ideas and policies with each other. As these brainstorming activities will definitely be make the industry’s standards more favorable, productive and result oriented. These representatives should also have close collaboration with their government policy makers. So that the new or current Govt.’s policies could effectively support the industry’s business. And last but most important thing is that every member should convince his/her own country’s officials to implement the real practice of compliance practices BCI, ZDHC, BSR and other supporting social and environmental practices. So that the transparency of each and every manufacturing activity is really necessary to save our environment.