Over the course of history, technology has been influencing fashion. An age-old example is the making of textiles by weaving materials with the help of a loom. As time progressed, technology evolved, paving the way for fashion innovators. The question is, in the 21st century, how will technology and fashion continue to evolve together and what does this mean for us as consumers?
We’ve heard of smartwatches, smartphones, and smart TVs but as of yet, “smart clothing” is still a work in progress and research continues to be developing. There has been no shortage of experimentation - most notably at fashion events such as The Met Gala - but none of these launches have come close to being what could be considered “wearable technology”.
That being said, the future of wearable technology is being shaped as you read this, moving beyond connected textiles and deeper into fiber science. From clothing fibers that can control our heat, cool us down - and even affect our biorhythm and health - more and more unique blends of fashion and technology are emerging.
To illustrate, a new jacket has been designed for urban cyclists. It allows wearers to fulfill tasks such as changing music tracks, blocking or answering calls, and accessing navigation information. This is achieved through a conductive yarn that has been weaved into the left cuff, enabling touch interactivity.
Luxury accessories are also merging in technology and fashion. For example, it is possible to have a backpack, scarf, and phone case that respond to air pressure, body temperature, touch, wind, and sunlight.
It doesn’t stop there. The footwear industry is beginning to combine four-inch high heels with comfort. A seemingly impossible feat that comes from the combined efforts of a rocket scientist, orthopedic surgeon, mechanical engineer, shoe designer, and Italian shoemaker. The resulting masterpiece is a ballistic-grade polymer in the heel which eliminates the painful underfoot while making it seem like you’re wearing something an inch lower than it is.
The essence of technology meets fashion lies in the fact that these products not only have functionality, they also have style. Some might argue that this is the pinnacle of fashion, that it looks good. As time evolves, the blend of fashion and technology will only continue to become more closely intertwined, until it’s impossible not to take them seriously.
What does all this entail for the future of the fashion industry? We predict an emergence into a better and more sustainable world. Already, we see the future headed in this direction with the creation of a new Intelliknit fabric that offers total moisture, temperature regulation, and sweat management. The creation process is highly efficient and commendable in that it creates no material waste in the process.
Other companies are beginning to grow, design and engineer leather in a way that not only makes it more sustainable but also enhances its performance properties. Biotechnology: welcome to the 21st century.
There’s no doubt that technology will continue to shape the future of our wardrobes and redefine the functionality and fashionability of our clothes. As the two forces continue to merge, we can expect wearable technology to become sleeker, more stylish, and more sustainable.
The thought of this fills Poème with excitement, but more importantly, hope. As a company that supports fair trade, ethically-made goods, and sustainability, this trajectory into a more sustainable world gives us confidence that fashion is moving in the right direction. A future where clothing not only looks good but serves a larger purpose.