Apparel and clothing in the fashion industry has been most vulnerable in nature as it keeps changing in terms of trends. Apart from design, technology has always played a major role in new trends in the market. As technology has emerged in the electronics and IT sector it has also given a new direction to the fashion industry both in terms of fashion and product innovations. There are many drawbacks the fashion industry faces and this brings great opportunities for innovations and technology up-gradation to keep the balance between fashion and the environment. Below are the top 10 innovations defining future of clothing and fashion:
1. Color changing garments
Color-changing garments are made from fabrics that have the property of their fibers to physically change color. This is possible thanks to the combination of electrical engineering, microfibers and color-changing pigments.
The fabric is woven together with a traditional weaving machine where air conducting yarn is used, the inner rope is a really thin wire covered with a special pigment material that changes color when the temperature changes. These are connected with a wire to a computer chip. Via a wireless connection, a smartphone can be connected and the color change can be monitored.
This is the initial stage of this technology where you need to keep a bulky, hardwired electronic device inside the product.
2. 3D Printed Garments and Accessories
Using 3D printing allows you to reduce waste, you only need to use the amount of material that is needed to create a project. For example, textiles are part of the waste problem around the world, so many elements of the manufacturing process need to be rethought to make them more environmentally friendly.
It is also a way to use recycled materials for the manufacturing process. Adidas created a 3D-printed midsole for one of their sneakers, made from recycled plastic found in the ocean. Creating new materials and using plastic more responsibly are new reasons to use 3D printing for fashion companies, and even big brands like Adidas.
The idea is to use 3D printing to create biodegradable fashion, believing that we can change the way we produce clothes! 3D printed tops and dresses can also be made. Most of the time, 3D printed clothing made by designers is not user-friendly.
Recent studies and efforts point to making 3D printing a new method of creating garments without wasting a lot of textiles and avoiding the mass-production aspect.
3. Solar Panel Embedded Jacket
Clothing embedded with tiny flea-sized solar cells can allow users to generate electricity on the move and charge items such as mobile phones and smartwatches, according to Nottingham Trent University, which has developed a way to embed miniaturized solar cells into a yarn that can then be woven and woven into textiles.
The technology has been tried and tested to charge a mobile phone and a Fitbit. The cells are encapsulated in a resin that allows the fabric to be washed and worn like any other form of clothing. At just three millimeters long and 1.5 millimeters wide, the cells are almost invisible to the naked eye and cannot be felt by the user.
For all intents and purposes, the garments look exactly the same as any other form of clothing despite having the ability to generate electricity.
4. Vegan Leather
Plastic and synthetic materials have been used as replacements for leather products. You can correlate this with sneakers or athletic shoes made by so many brands. On the other hand, vegan leather is basically leather made from plants.
This will help overcome the effects of the leather industry on the environment and animals; the market for cruelty-free alternatives continues to grow. Not only that, but many brands are trying to make vegan leather have as little impact as possible by using plants to create leather-like fabrics.
In recent years, innovators have discovered many ways to make vegan leather with everything from pineapples to cactus leaves to flowers. It’s quite surprising that all the vegan leathers on this list are made from a plant, but sadly none of them are fully biodegradable yet. That’s because each material is made with a mixture of plants and polyurethane, or is plant-based and coated with a plastic-based resin.
While there are some brands that already sell fully compostable sneakers, no one has been able to solve the case for compostable vegan leather shoes yet. But the good news is that most of the brands on this list are working to perfect their respective vegan leathers to make their shoes biodegradable.
5. Kinematics-based Dress
Nervous has dubbed their software for 4D printing Kinematics. Inspired by origami-like, folding tessellations, it’s a system that “creates complex, foldable forms composed of articulated modules.” The technology isn’t perfect, but it’s come a long way from earlier 3D printed clothing that seemed more fit for the runways than everyday wear.
The Kinematics system, however, has a couple of relative distinctions: it “combines computational geometry techniques with rigid body physics and customization,” meaning that it can transform any three-dimensional shape into a flexible structure using 3D printing, while also using collision-based simulation to compress the structure so that it can be created using a desktop printer.
6. Heat Modulating Clothes
A smart fabric could help you stay cool by modifying the heat transfer depending on how hot or cold you are, or rather how sweaty you are. The material can lead to clothing that can keep you warm in cold conditions or help you cool down in hot weather.
Infrared radiation is responsible for around 40% of our body’s heat loss. While smart textiles have previously been made that improve or prevent infrared absorption to retain or lose heat respectively, no fabric has been designed that can do both.
The textile is woven from a cellulose triacetate yarn, which is already used in clothing. The material can respond to moisture because the triacetate in each fiber absorbs water while the cellulose component repels it. This opposition causes the fibers in each strand to squeeze and twist together the wetter they become, creating larger pores between the overlapping strands for heat to escape. In contrast, when they dry, the fibers relax and stretch, shrinking pores and reducing heat loss.
Additionally, the yarn twists more in response to moisture, the nanotubes bundle together and dissipate heat more efficiently, while the reverse occurs as the fibers relax, helping to retain heat.
What’s more, the fabric responds in less than a minute, so clothing made from this yarn could help regulate body temperature even before it feels too hot or too cold. However, rain or extreme humidity could prevent the textile from working properly.
7. Spider Web Silk Garments
A rare fabric made from the silk of more than a million wild spiders is on display today at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
To produce this unique golden web, 70 people spent four years collecting golden orb spiders from telephone poles in Madagascar, while another dozen workers carefully extracted about 80 feet of silk filament from each of the arachnids. The resulting 11 foot by 4-foot weave is the only large piece of web made from natural spider silk that exists in the world today.
“Spider silk is very elastic, and it has a tensile strength that is incredibly strong compared to steel or Kevlar,” said textile expert Simon Peers, who co-led the project. “There’s scientific research going on all over the world right now trying to replicate the tensile properties of spider silk and apply it to all sorts of areas in medicine and industry, but no one up until now has succeeded in replicating 100 percent of the properties of natural spider silk.”
8. Microfiber Clothes
Microfiber is a wonderful fabric for clothing for many reasons, but the first we’ll look at is its durability. As noted above, microfiber has been a growing trend in furniture upholstery because it can withstand the rigors of pets, children, and everyday wear and tear well.
It makes sense that by owning and wearing this fabric, you can be sure that it will have a great deal of use. Too many clothing items are made from materials that don’t hold up enough to be worth their price. This feature alone makes microfiber an excellent choice for adult and children’s clothing.
Another benefit of using microfiber to make clothing is that it is resistant to stains. Do you remember about the furniture? This is just another reason why this fabric is popular for people with children or who are highly entertaining. The same benefit works in your favor for clothing too.
Clothing made from microfiber is less likely to be permanently stained with red wine, mustard, or any other harmful food and beverage hazard. This fabric allows liquids to drip onto the surface of the fabric and wipes gently. Microfiber can be used to make everything from stylish stain-resistant shirts and pants to well-tailored jackets.
Somewhat related to the anti-blemish factor, microfiber also has the added benefit of wicking moisture away from the skin. This benefit makes it a fantastic fabric to use in summer clothing. It looks professional enough to wear to work or your house of worship, but it won’t allow perspiration to stay close to the skin. All of this adds up to ensure that you stay cool and comfortable while looking clean and professional.
9. Recycled Fabric Garments
Globally 73% of material that goes into clothing ends up either in a landfill or an incinerator, reports the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Just 12% gets recycled. In the UK, this recycling figure drops to 9%, according to the charity Wrap (Waste and Resources Action Programme).
The biggest problem that prevents recycling from one garment to another is the quality of the fiber: the fibers are damaged both during use and during washing. ‘You can’t take a heavily used cotton t-shirt, rip it mechanically, and then turn the cotton fibers into a new cotton t-shirt because they have lost so much fiber quality that the t-shirt will not be high enough quality to fit the market. ” explains Hanna de la Motte, a textile recycling chemist at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden in Gothenburg. Shredding also tends to shorten the length of the fiber.
One option is to mix mechanically recycled fibers with virgin fibers. Another possibility that is being explored is to chemically break down the fibers into their chemical components and then rebuild them into new fibers with indistinguishable (or better) performance characteristics than virgin fibers.
However, chemical fiber-to-fiber recycling is both a technical and an economic challenge: the resulting fiber cannot be more expensive than what the market accepts. After a handful of successful pilots, this technology is beginning to make its commercial debut.
Different fibers require different chemicals to break them down, so once used clothing is collected, the first stage is sorting. There are challenges with sorting facilities and resources when it comes to mass production. Several pilots have analyzed the chemical recycling of cotton, which accounts for just under a third of all fibers used in textile production.
All these pilots have the same basic steps: mechanical removal of items such as zippers and buttons, washing to remove dyes and the like, dissolving the cotton cellulose in a solvent, and then spinning new fibers from the resulting pulp.
This would be one of the best innovations that the fashion industry could adapt to support the ecosystem and no doubt this can define the future of clothing and fashion.
10. Waste Material Fabric Garments
According to one report, 86% of plastic water bottles used in the US go to landfills. Around 60 million bottles of water are used daily in the US, which means that approximately 18,834,000,000 are thrown into landfills each year. Additionally, each plastic bottle can take up to 700 years to perish. The alarming rate at which the number of plastic bottles used in landfills is increasing represents a high risk to the environment.
Fortunately, many companies around the world are moving forward to recycle waste plastic bottles and create sustainable jobs and the environment. Not only entrepreneurs but also fashion designers are coming together to support the environment. It is difficult to imagine how plastic bottles are transformed into fabrics.
With the help of advanced technology, here is a process that can turn plastic bottles into fabrics. First of all, the plastic bottles are collected, compressed, packed into bales and sent to the processing factory. Then the plastic bottles are chipped and melted into white round balls.
These balls are crushed again and spun through a shower-like nozzle resulting in a string of viscose. These threads are used to weave fabrics and ultimately end up in a fashion garment. This process also consumes 30% less energy than garments that are made from conventionally manufactured polyester.
Recycled bottles are used for various purposes. One such use for this recycled material is spinning it into fine fibers, which are used to make clothing such as T-shirts, jackets, shirts, and exercise apparel, usually made from polyester blends. Soft fleeces are made from these bottles and are used for hats, blankets, and jacket linings.
There are brands that make warm, comfortable, weather-resistant, and durable clothing from recycled plastic bottles. In addition, it is responsible for the reduction of toxins that are released into the air when burning plastic waste. Further, waste bottles dumped in landfills are also reduced.
Moreover, the used plastic bottles that are made into fabrics are recyclable and generate less pollution in the environment. This is a great way to meet people’s needs and eliminate waste from the environment.
Of course, with the latest technologies in the fashion and apparel industry, we can imagine future trends of fashion and our interest in dressing. Days are not so far when we can think of wearing smart/intelligent dresses similar to smartphones which can serve multipurpose rather than just wearing clothes to cover or for fashion trend.