The future of the fashion and retail industries are interlinked. As more people shop online, fashion retailers have to adapt to survive. New trends, such as ‘fast fashion’ and ‘micro-retailing,’ are transforming the fashion industry. Consumers are also changing the way they shop. ‘Slow fashion is all about quality and wearing clothes for a long time. They are also becoming increasingly aware of sustainable clothing. The rise of the ‘maternity wear’ market and ‘couture clothing’ is another sign of change.
As technology advances, there’s no denying it. Artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, augmented reality, the Internet of Things, 3D printing, wearable tech, and self-driving cars are all reshaping the future of retail. As a result, the fashion business appears to be heading in one of two directions: either toward total disruption or toward obsolescence.
Although the fashion industry is continually changing, some constants remain the same. While previously, designers would design what they wanted and then manufacture clothes, today, trends change constantly, and designers work with factories to create clothing that the public wants. As a result, the factories that put clothes on racks and shelves must adjust quickly to current trends and changes.
Future Fashion: Focus on Health and Well-Being
Over the last few decades, modern fashion has become more extreme. From haute couture to fast fashion, clothing has become less and less functional and more extravagant. But, lately, a growing fashion movement to return to its roots: fashion as functional, comfortable clothing. This trend has led to more breathable fabrics, looser silhouettes, and a focus on creating clothing that uses healthy, sustainable textiles.
It’s clear that more people are becoming aware of the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a healthy, nutrient-rich diet, exercising regularly, getting enough rest, and getting regular check-ups. Although this is nothing new, it is interesting to note how the focus on health and wellness has become more mainstream as more people turn to holistic practices like meditation, massage, and yoga. As health and wellness become important, many fashion companies have begun developing clothing, footwear, and accessories that promote health and well-being.
Future Fashion: Reduction of the CO2 Footprint
With the climate heating up and its effects being felt around the world, fashion is taking a stand. Of the many causes that fashion supports, reducing the CO2 footprint is the major one. In September 2016, fashion industry leaders committed to reducing carbon emissions by 1.5 billion tons by 2030. This impacts many areas of fashion, from raw materials to production to distribution.
The Fashion industry has an enormous impact on the environment. A growing amount of the carbon emissions caused by the fashion industry comes from the production of synthetic fibers, such as acrylic and polyester. The production of these fibers releases large amounts of CO2. However, according to research by the Institute for Global Fashion Studies:
“The fashion industry worldwide could reduce the CO2 footprint of its entire supply chain, including synthetic fiber production, by 16-20%, without increasing production costs, by optimizing the use of materials, processes, and end-of-life disposal.”
Personalization: Specialists Are in Demand
In the 240 years since the first U.S. Personal Computer was introduced in 1979, we’ve seen much evolution in personal technology. But one thing has remained consistent: the desire for personalization. With advances in AI, smart assistants, and software, technology is becoming more integrated into our lives. This gives marketers a great opportunity to better know their audience and tailor messages to each specific customer based on their interests, habits, and previous purchases.
In today’s business climate, personalization has become increasingly important. When customers purchase a product or service, they expect that buying decision to be tailored to their needs. Some people even demand it—they want a tailored experience, whether buying books on Amazon, plane tickets on Expedia, or furniture at IKEA. This personalization is increasingly common, but specialists who know how to personalize experiences for their customers are still in extremely high demand.
Digitized Fashion: From Digital Influencers to the Metaverse
Digital influencer marketing is a fast-growing trend. It’s where brands partner with bloggers and social media influencers to promote their products and brands online, reaching an audience of millions. Last year, there were 34.6 million fashion-related Instagram posts, and 50% of millennials say they’re more likely to buy from a brand if it has a social media influencer promoting it.
The future of fashion is digitized, and it’s not what you might expect. As our society is becoming more digitally savvy, so is the fashion industry. Digital influencers are joining the ranks, hyping up digital brands, and owning their own companies and clothing brands. The metaverse is “the Internet of things.” It refers to an interconnected network of physical objects—cars, buildings, smartphones, tablets, watches, health devices, and more—than communicate with one another. While all this continues to evolve, the future of fashion is within all of us.