Fashion has always been known to push the envelope. With new trends and ideas, fashion has an eye towards the future. The fashion industry will see huge amounts of innovation in coming years as new technology and changing customer trends and demands will transform the industry.
Here are four changes to expect in the future of fashion:
1 . Data-Driven
It used to be that consumers wore whatever designers created. Those days are over, and fashion brands now use data to understand customer preferences, monitor their shopping behavior and create products that meet their needs. The future of fashion is data-driven: by leveraging data on consumer trends, brands can create pieces consumers are most likely to purchase.
Many stores and brands, including Miu Miu and Stitch Fix, use data to predict the rise and fall of trends. Predictive analytics consider everything from climate to color preferences, social media trends and political movements. The benefits of using data in fashion are numerous: from only producing pieces consumers will actually wear to reducing waste and connecting the right consumers with pieces they will enjoy. Data also helps brands run more efficiently, giving them room to innovate and balance supply and demand.
Fashion forecasting has long been an artform, but with the growth of data analytics, it now becomes more of a science. That data extends to algorithms. Amazon is developing a machine learning program to automatically assess if an item is “stylish” or not. Google is testing user-driven AI fashion design that uses algorithms to create new pieces and styles. Data of all kinds will soon be sewn into every aspect of fashion.
2 . Sustainable
Fashion has long been one of the biggest contributors to waste and climate change, largely because of its unsustainable and non-eco-friendly production methods. But the tides are changing, and brands are moving towards more sustainable fabrics and manufacturing methods.
Fast fashion, which was popular for its ability to quickly and inexpensively reproduce runway looks, is in decline in favor of slow fashion—pieces that are more eco-friendly and designed to be longer lasting. Nearly 50% of fast fashion retailers have reported a recent decrease in customer purchases as consumers look for brands that take a stand for the environment.
Research shows that 88% of consumers want brands to help them be more environmentally friendly. Even with its strides, fashion has a long way to go. Fashion production releases 10% of the world’s carbon emissions, more than international flights and maritime shipping combined. A number of sustainable fashion brands are growing, and their innovative practices are becoming more commonplace among retailers. British design company Vin + Omi harvests its own crops to make clothing from horseradish plants and chestnuts. It also features clothing items made from recycled paint containers. Levi’s recently unveiled a new collection of denim that uses 96% less water to create—a major win for clothing that notoriously requires a lot of water to produce.
Shopping for pre-owned items is also on the rise. The