What does technology mean in the fashion industry?

Moving shoes or pants that change color are futuristic fashion items that are obtainable today. But is that what we want? Technology in fashion can be aesthetic, but it is especially crucial in the fashion industry. However, we are often not aware of this.

Almost everyone has a smartwatch. It’s a handy device that perfectly illustrates what technology is in vogue: a useful gadget. For example, there are handbags that you can charge your laptop in, says engineer and shoe designer Katrien Herdewyn. “Such items purchased by individuals are useful and solve a problem. Pants that change color are fine, but what’s wrong with them?” It is therefore useful applications in fashion technology that we must focus on and further develop. “Shoes that indicate when the sole is worn and therefore no longer provides adequate support for your feet, or a training suit that measures your heart rate via sensors while you jog. These are examples of smart clothes that can help people, ”illustrates Herdewyn.

Technology plays a major role in the realization of sustainability in the fashion industry. “The fashion industry very clearly wants to move in the direction of producing and consuming more. If we can not expect people to buy less, then we must make sure that what we buy is a lesser burden on the planet. This is where technology comes in, ”explains Herdewyn. The technology can, for example, promote the development of new materials and make it possible, for example, to recycle sewing threads. Currently, the yarn is an obstacle in the recycling process because it is mostly synthetic. “A technological project that I myself am working on is to realize an alternative to leather from animals, where we ‘grow’ leather in a laboratory.”

Another point where technology plays a big role in fashion is knowing the origin of a garment. “It is important to know where your skirt comes from or who made it. It is also important to know what materials have been used for processing after you have thrown away your skirt. ”

A smartwatch or handbag that can charge your laptop is useful and solves a problem. Pants that change color are fine, but what’s wrong with them?

– Engineer and shoe designer Katrien Herdewyn

A third technological application that promotes sustainability is the development of apps like Vinted that promote the purchase and use of used clothing. Other platforms like Dressr allow you to rent clothes instead of buying them so you don’t leave clothes hanging in your closet after having them all at once. That way, people wear clothes optimally, and you contribute to sustainability, ”says Herdewyn.

Thanks to robot technology, we can produce faster and we have the opportunity to buy according to our body’s needs. We often buy pieces that do not fit properly and they are left unused in the closet. In the past, everything was custom-made, even your shoes. “We can now solve that by installing technology in clothing stores that prevents people from producing something before they buy it. In the future, the customer will say what he or she wants online or in the store, and this will then be adapted to the 3D version of your body thanks to a body scan. You still want your T-shirt at home the same day, ”she says. The difference is that production is based on demand, not what the stores think they will need. Technology thus solves overproduction.

Katrien Herdewyn herself is fully occupied with using nanotechnology for shoes. For example, she designs the shoes for her online store Elegnano according to the ‘lotus principle’. “This is a technique where the fibers of the leather are processed according to the structure of the lotus flower. That way, a drop of water rolls off nicely, just like with flowers, and your leather shoes are not damaged. ” All these techniques are realized thanks to technology, which is why it is so important not to underestimate the power of technology in the fashion industry.

Would you like to read more about the development of sustainable fashion? Be sure to read the article about Lies Mertens here: founder of the handbag brand Lies Mertens.

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