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The Role of Technologies in The Fashion Industry
Fashion technology is developing at an incredible rate of speed. Fashion has come a long way, from the invention of sewing machines to the development of temperature-regulating materials to the most recent amazing idea of metaverse retailers. Technology has had an impact on every aspect of fashion, from automation to customization and the manufacturing, design, distribution, and marketing of orders.
Soon, it won’t be unusual to see robots cutting and sewing fabric, AI systems forecasting fashion trends, or even clothing that can be tried on virtually. To achieve a competitive edge in their industries, fashion brands must take advantage of the potential presented by ever-changing technical trends in fashion. In the middle of this, technology will be crucial in understanding the long-overdue sustainability impact on the fashion value chain.
Technologies in the Fashion Industry
In the fashion industry, various types of technologies are used, significant of this are −
Technologies Used in Manufacturing
One of the most polluting sectors of the global economy is the fashion industry. Every year, 12.8 million metric tonnes of garments are disposed of in landfills. More customers and fashion firms are embracing the idea of “slow fashion” and moving away from the drawn-out and expensive manufacturing process due to its negative effects on the environment.
Additionally, younger generations are becoming more concerned about sustainability. Many well-known companies, including H&M, have introduced new clothing lines that emphasise sustainable fashion in response to the trend. Many new technologies are now being developed to increase the viability and efficiency of sustainable production. For instance, an overhaul of the design, manufacturing, and distribution systems is being designed to meet client demand more quickly while simultaneously ensuring sustainable practises.
CAD Technology in Fashion Industry
CAD technology has become an essential tool in the fashion industry, particularly in the design and development process. It allows designers to create detailed technical drawings, specifications and patterns for garments, accessories, and footwear. CAD software can be used to create 2D technical drawings, as well as 3D virtual prototypes. With CAD, designers can experiment with different fabrics, colors, and textures, and make changes to their designs in real-time. CAD technology can also be used to create virtual fashion shows, allowing designers to showcase their collections to buyers and clients remotely. Additionally, it can be used to create accurate size and fit models, which can help to reduce the need for multiple fittings and sample production.
3D printing is another significant trend in the apparel, footwear, and accessory industries. Brands are investigating technology and looking into different ways it might assist them in producing things that are personalised and catered to particular consumers. Shoes from companies like Nike, New Balance, and Reebok are being customised using 3D printing technology. On the other side, 3D printing also has to do with eco-friendly clothing. Research shows that 3D printing lowers production-related fabric waste by roughly 35%. For many brands, it can assist in establishing zero-waste, sustainable production.
By gathering data on consumer likes and interests, artificial intelligence is already assisting firms in developing new designs more quickly and effectively, as well as predicting future trends. As an illustration, Amazon has developed an AI designer that uses machine learning to identify and follow fashion trends. Another illustration is the subscription-based business Stitch Fix, which employs AI algorithms to assess current fashion trends and present fresh options based on customer information.
Use of AI and Machine Learning in Fashion
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are being used in a variety of ways in the fashion industry to improve the design, manufacturing, and retail processes. AI and ML can be used to generate new fashion designs, predict future trends, and assist designers in creating more efficient and sustainable collections. AI and ML can be used to optimize production processes, reduce waste, and improve efficiency. AI and ML can be used to improve the customer experience by providing personalized recommendations and styling advice, as well as for inventory management and supply chain optimization. AI and ML can be used to create virtual try-on experiences, allowing customers to see how clothes will fit and look on them before making a purchase. AI-powered image recognition technology can be used to sort and classify images of clothing, which makes it easier for retailers to organize and find products in their inventory.
The era of personalization and prediction predicts the coming few years. Companies can forecast new trends and provide distinctive and pertinent shopping experiences as they gather more data and improve their algorithms. One of them is locating the ideal fit. Smart fitting technologies are available to customers from businesses like Virtusize and True Fit.
In-store and online digital experiences are being created with the use of virtual reality technologies. Many start-ups are assisting brands in developing fun and interesting purchasing experiences. Among the ways virtual reality aids, the fashion industry Enabling 3D product experiences for online shoppers will increase conversion rates. Create augmented experiences like an AR pop-up, an interactive catalogue, or a virtual reality store recreation. 3D scanning and AR are also used in the changing rooms.
ASOS and Chatbots in Fashion Industry
ASOS, a British online fashion and beauty retailer, has been using chatbots and other AI-powered technology in several ways to enhance customer experience and streamline their business operations. ASOS has implemented chatbots on their website and mobile app to assist customers with their orders, returns, and general queries. These chatbots use natural language processing (NLP) to understand customers' questions and provide relevant answers. The use of chatbots and AI-powered technology such as ASOS, helps to provide customers with personalized and efficient service, while improving the company's supply chain and inventory management.
To monitor inventory, brands are increasingly using a mix of sensors, scanners, and cloud-based software. One of the techniques for digital cataloguing that is now in use is radio frequency identification technology (RFID). Store efficiency is increased by RFID tags, which also increase inventory accuracy and item availability. Additionally, this shortens the time an item is out of supply and boosts sales. Recent evidence supports the advantages of utilising RFID: Zara personnel who previously spent 40 hours scanning barcodes can now register inventory using RFID technology in roughly 5 hours.
Channels for Distribution
One of the newer methods of distribution for fashion brands is subscription boxes. The recommendation algorithms get better over time as users engage with styles online, exchange preferences, and provide input on things they do and don’t want to buy. Brands can gather a tonne of customer data through subscription boxes and get their products in front of targeted audiences. With this knowledge, businesses may better develop new products and satisfy consumer demand using technology like AI.
FitBit, Apple Watch, and Google Glass are examples of wearable technology that have been available for some time. The wearable technology market is predicted to reach a global value of 30 billion euros by 2020, with one in five adults currently donning a smart watch or fitness band. Connected necklaces, rings, and bracelets are currently being made by fashion startups and businesses. For instance, Rebecca Minkoff designed a leather bracelet that can be used as an iPhone USB charger, making it the ideal item for tech-savvy women.
Several firms have started to use AI-based digital stylists that can provide comments on wardrobe selections or offer alternatives. Additionally, a lot of businesses use chatbots that are intended to offer a customised and engaging buying experience. Levi’s introduced a “virtual stylist” to assist customers in finding the perfect pair of jeans. They provide a personalised and interactive purchasing experience with their Facebook Messenger chatbot. Another illustration is ASOS, which introduced a chatbot to assist customers in selecting holiday gifts. Chatbots and digital stylists provide new channels for customer connection and offer several chances for personalization.
From designers and producers to retailers and customers, technology is impacting many participants in the fashion business. At the same time, every component of the sector is being automated or improved by technology, leading to speedier production, more effective inventory management, and a larger variety of online and in-store retail experiences. Numerous businesses are utilising a variety of technologies and planning for the future. It’s obvious that developments in AI and machine learning technologies will have a significant impact on the direction of fashion. The use of artificial intelligence to boost productivity, implement sustainable practises, reduce costs, and, eventually, give customers the best shopping experience will continue till eternity.
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