Technology innovations are bigger than ever in the fashion industry. Where once a good customer experience and solid product offering were enough to keep brands thriving, the fast-forward shift to digital means businesses can no longer rely on these assets to bring in sales.
Primark is a prime example of a brand who succeeded for many years on a path that didn’t have technology as a focus. Turning a blind-eye to digital innovations lost the brand £1bn in lockdown. Luxury brands also came up against similar challenges in 2020. Companies have quickly realised a mediocre approach to digital and technology developments just won’t cut it anymore.
The brands that will win in 2021 will be those that give customers an experience with digital at the forefront of their offering. Shoppers will return to the brands that allow them to virtually try on clothes, make the online shopping experience effortless, and offer garments that enhance health, wellbeing and sustainability.
Here are the top tech trends that will make big changes to the fashion industry in 2021.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) to improve the online and offline shopping experience have been used in the fashion industry for some time now. Brands currently winning in this area are Dior and Gucci who are using Lenses to allow customers to see what a pair of shoes or sunglasses look like on. This use of technology will become expected from customers as the tools become commonplace – whether at home or instore. However, the brands that will truly stand out in 2021 are those that introduce even further tech developments to make the shopping experience seamless and enjoyable.
Some tech products currently making waves are:
The amount of waste the fashion industry produces has been brought to the forefront in recent months. In the UK alone household’s throw away 1 million tonnes of textile waste each year, with a third of that ending up in landfill or being incinerated.
2021 will be the the year when the world finally puts environmental issues first. Eco-friendly, sustainable and socially responsible are words consumers have got comfortable with and people are now taking ownership of their own responsibility in these areas (rather than rely on businesses to be ‘doing the right thing’).
Technology innovations in this field will be big. Top tech designed to minimise waste in the fashion industry are:
As an ever increasing health-conscious nation, designers and engineers are trialling building technology into garments. FitBits and Smart Watches are popular and introducing these kinds of concepts into clothes is expected to be the next big thing. Innovations in this area are being called ‘Reactive Fashion’. Here’s one you might have heard of:
Technology is also being used to grow new fabrics using natural elements around us:
Supply chains have come under much scrutiny over the past few months. Poor labour and poor processes have been able to take place for far too long and the industry is finally doing something about it.
Brands like Veja have championed production transparency from the very beginning. While socially responsible companies were in the minority for years, the conscious-consumer movement means this kind of honesty will be expected from all businesses, no matter how big or small.
Want more 2021 fashion industry insights? Read these:
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