Technology is affecting everything from the way we live our lives to what we wear. While 3D printed garments remain fiction, the fact remains that technology is affecting the fashion industry and clothing itself. Let’s look at how technology trends are reshaping the fashion industry.
The Impact of High Tech on Clothing
We can make jokes about the weird small pockets on many jeans. They were originally created to hold small pocket watches. But even the large pockets on pants and shirts that could hold a wallet aren’t large enough to hold most modern smartphones. This is why we’re seeing larger pockets complete with button covers for holding cell phones. Furthermore, they’re located on the side or front of the thigh where the device remains accessible. This is in contrast to the large back pockets many people used to hold phones and devices, though things often fall out when you sit down.
The Influence Social Media Has on Fashion
Social media has sped up the news cycle to the point that stories hours old seem obsolete. Digital lynch mobs can be whipped up and sicced on a target. This has led to horror stories of people’s lives ruined when a three-year-old video clip went viral after being shared by a bully. And it has forced companies to pay attention to social media and react quickly in response to the mob, because a story about child labor or forced labor in camps of Urgyur prisoners will result in millions of angry emails, Tweets and digital conversations.
The same near-instant social waves have resulted in fashion trends that last weeks instead of months. This has fueled growth of the fast fashion industry. They create garments based on an item that was worn by a celebrity in a viral tweet or things that are becoming popular on social media. Within days, they have a version available to select customers. Within a few months, it disappears, replaced by other items. Fast fashion shops keep prices low so that people can afford to buy items they only wear a few weeks or months. They keep prices low by minimizing their inventory and relying on just-in-time manufacturing. They make items seem desirable by having key items in a variety of colors but in limited stock. When the purple sweater worn by that celebrity is gone, it is no longer available. This forces customers to keep coming back for more.
The Democratization of Technology
Technology has made high-end services available to small businesses and individuals. For example, small businesses can take advantage of inventory management systems and accounting software via the cloud. It also allows individuals and small business owners to order products and services through the internet. You can order customer printed sticker labels to promote your clothing store or hire a web designer on the other side of the world. Both are available at a fair price and deliver a similar end result to what larger customers would receive.
Clothing businesses can also reach customers everywhere by selling online, whether it is through their own website or ecommerce portals. Everyone can take advantage of digital ads and social media marketing.