Shopping Cart

Tech Advances That Can Help Fashion Be More Sustainable

For better or worse, technology has impacted our lives in many ways. And despite what dystopian shows like Black Mirror may have you believe, we have the power to use tech for the better and harness its potential to create a more sustainable world. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at 3 of the most promising advances in technology that can help fashion positively affect the environment.

Key Takeaways: Blockchain ledgers that create transparency

If you’re still new to the concept, ‘blockchain’ refers to a distributed ledger technology that stores transactions sequentially and is maintained in a decentralised format which makes information transparent and easily accessible to all. Decentralised blockchains are also immutable, which means that the data entered is irreversible. Since blockchains aren’t just limited to financial transactions, and can just as easily extend to medical records, land titles or any other form of data, sustainable fashion brands are leveraging this technology to gain the trust of their customers. 

sustainable blockchain tech

Image courtesy: Provenance

By simply scanning a QR code on a product, customers can immediately know where their materials came from and who was involved in manufacturing at every step of the supply chain. Not only can they trace the product’s journey, but they can also understand how much water was used along with the amount of carbon emitted to produce it. This makes blockchain a vital tool to acknowledge the impact of a garment and create supply chain transparency.  

Three-dimensional design that reduces waste

Designing a garment traditionally involves sketching out ideas on paper, creating a pattern, then making a prototype (toile) on a dress form, and then sewing it into a fit sample. This detailed process changes with every design and size, creating a mountain of waste through sampling garments alone. Enter, 3D fashion design softwares that does the same job, minus the textile waste.


Image courtesy: Designer Hanifa's virtual fashion show

It is a lesser-known fact that decisions made during the design phase are responsible for 80 to 90% of the environmental and economic costs. But today, advanced 3D design softwares like Clo3D and Marvelous Designer enable designers to virtually create multi-dimensional prototypes and modify patterns before manufacturing an item. In addition, these softwares offer sophisticated garment simulations to make styles with intricate details while accurately emulating drape-sensitive fabrics, reducing lead time by an average of 27 hours compared to 37 days without the software, and offering a 55% sample adoption rate compared to 15% without its use.

Digital clothes that do away with physical clothes
Maya jama

Image Courtesy: Richard Malone

In the future, switching to the hottest new designer top could be as easy as putting on a Snapchat filter that turns your face into a doe-eyed Disney character. In 2020, the world’s first augmented reality 5G dress debuted at the BAFTAs red carpet on British television and radio presenter Maya Jama. Designer Richard Malone created what appeared like a floor-length, powder blue gown to the naked eye, that later converted into a teal-coloured, awe-inspiring digital creation on-screen that morphed and moved as she interacted with it. 

The fabricant

Image courtesy: The Fabricant,

Back in 2019, the first-ever digital couture dress was sold in an auction for US$9,500. Created by Amsterdam-based fashion label The Fabricant, the silver bodysuit and transparent coat exists digitally only and is limited to one owner owing to blockchain. The design is exclusively made to fit the buyer via “digital tailoring,” which could explain the expensive price tag. Luxury fashion brands have caught on to the buzz and are already pushing the AR envelope by making their foray into the gaming metaverse.

gucci roblox

Image courtesy: Gucci

Brands like Gucci have created the Garden Experience on the digital fashion marketplace and gaming platform Roblox where there has been a noteworthy amount of interest in virtual fashion purchases. The luxury brand created a virtual locale with a pool, balloon arches, and a shopping space where the prices of some items exceed IRL price tags (reaching above $4,000 or 350,000 Robux).

With the value of digital ownership already rising via NFTs, AR tech shows promise that the need for excessive physical garments will soon be ancient history, making room for only a sustainable wardrobe of essentials where frivolous fashion needs are only pursued digitally.

Published by: Jharna pariani/ 2021-07-02

Previous Article Next Article