MA Fashion Media Practice students, Zoe Goetzmann and Megan McClelland attend London Fashion Week fringe event, “The Future of Fashion Textile Technology” at The Stratford Hotel, London. The event featured a variety of different artists and designers whom utilize tech to combat fashion’s impact on the climate crisis. Megan McClelland reports…
The Future of Fashion Textile Technology
The exhibiting artists gathered together to showcase their art and designs to others in the fashion industry, inviting others to interact with their different products. These included a virtual reality shoe design experience by Annie Foo, 3D printed accessories by Electrobloom and the H&M Global Change Award winner Petit Pli (whose children’s garments mirror child maturation, with the ability to grow 7 sizes).
Read Zoe Goetzman’s interview with Annie Foo
There was a plethora of other innovative designers who were all connected by the event’s theme of fashion technology and sustainability, in addition to being connected to the event’s founder, Kadine James. Kadine is one of the top 100 female tech leaders in the UK and was helped by her co-founder, Lucy Wheeler as well as the house manager, Patrick Scally to organize The Future of Fashion Textile Technology event.
Once everyone had ample time experiencing the exhibitor’s designs, it was time to listen to the four panelists: David Leigh, Martina Spetlova, Ganit Goldstein and Karina Nobbs.
Each panelist specializes in a different field of fashion technology. David Leigh founded the Lynch+Leigh agency, which focused on ‘technology-connected’ brand equity building for small-medium sized fashion companies.
Martina Spetlova is a designer and founder of the fashion house MWOVEN, which is committed to using blockchain technology and creating sustainable products. Ganit Goldstein is a designer, and was also an exhibitor at the event, who uses 3D printing and weaving practices to create garments.
Karinna Nobbs is a futurist, a freelance educator specializing in the digitalisation of the fashion industry and is the founder of HOT:SECOND. An e-tailer that uses the circular economy model for trading physical goods and digital experiences.
Key Takeaways – The relationship between fashion technology and sustainability
The common thread throughout the event is the burgeoning relationship between fashion technology and sustainability. The panelists devoted time to discussing the technological developments that have been used to offset the fashion industry’s negative impact on the environment’s health. One being digitisation, which has helped to liberate designers and brands from traditional fashion systems. Providing brands with the opportunity to produce less and on their own terms, rather than being confined to the spring/summer and fall/winter collections construct.
Another topic of discussion was the impending customer paradigm shift, which is characterised by the changing of the fashion system from the old to the new. The “old system” denotes a surplus of supply increasing customer demand, whereas “the new system” sketches a future where the demand is in control of the supply; through made-to-order methods of production and digital try-ons.
Sustainability as a trend
The panelists also tackled difficult subjects, like how sustainability has become something of a trend today and what that means for the movement. The panelist David Leigh hopes that the aesthetics of the sustainability movement decline when the trend does and that the positive changes made to the fashion system are what actually endures afterwards. Furthermore, since sustainability is still on the incline, it’s important that designers start to reassess their work and what is important about it.
Predictions for the fashion industry included the implementation of more craftsmanship into clothing production, to reflect a culturally specific craft and story rather than production ambiguity. Another prediction was an increase in clothing variation, uniqueness and novelty with the rise of made-to-order pieces.
Special Thank You
All-in-all, the pop-up event was a great way to launch into London Fashion Week. Exploring new technologies and how they can be implemented into our fashion system. Special thanks to Kadine James for inviting Condé Nast College to the event and to all of the events collaborators. Looking forward to what they all accomplish in the future.
By Megan McClelland, MA Fashion Media Practice (Journalism Pathway)
Images by Zoe Goetzman