As Giorgio Armani quoted, “The world is changing and so is fashion”. Fashion trends are evolving by the day. Sometimes, the long forgotten and existent fashion crazes also see resurfacing, while at other times, some fads never go out of fashion. However, these forever endured styles do get a revamp every now and then. With environmentalists propagating about saving our mother Earth, the textile and fashion industries too have brought about changes in the production of their goods and commodities. As a known fact, the fashion industry is second in line for using the water resources, after the agricultural sector. For fabricating even a single piece of clothing, several gallons of water is utilized and consumed. Besides consumption of resources, the garment industry also pollutes a lot of our natural resources. But since the recent past, designers and fashion engineers are trying to adopt novel and green innovative ideas to lure their customers. They are trying to bring about changes by supporting the organic revolution that is the need of this hour. With the help of technology, intelligence and creativity, there has been a birth of several innovations and researches.
Some of the below mentioned unique inventions and contraptions are sure to blow your mind off.
- Dyeing with air
Attempting to contribute to the organic revolution, the fashion industry has centred around upcycling, sustainable textiles, manufacturing from renewable and biodegradable materials, etc. However, recently did the concentration shift from clothing materials to the dyeing process, which emits devastating chemicals and waste. AirDye, a new method has been devised for dyeing textiles. This inventiveness takes water almost out of the equation, using 90% less water and also reduces the emission and energy usage by 85%.
This technology heats up the fabric and then injects the dye directly into the fibres in the form of gas. However, due to the physics used in this technology, it only works on synthetics. The process begins with using synthetic fibres which can be made from recycled PET bottles. Using dispersed dyes that are applied on paper carriers, AirDye uses heat to transfer the dyes from paper to the surface, as well as to the molecular levels of the textile.
- Smart tailoring
Indian designer, Siddhartha Upadhyaya, introduced a technology called the ‘Direct Panel on Loom (DPOL)’ which is also referred to as smart tailoring. This innovation has increased the efficiency of the fabric by 15% while reducing the lead-time by as much as 50%.
In executing the generation of clothes using this process, a loom is attached to a computer that records data such as colour, pattern, size, etc. on its own. The loom then does the math automatically and the exact estimates of pieces are cut out from the machine. Following this, the tailor can weave and give patterns to the garments. This technique not only saves energy up to 80% but also reduces waste to a very huge extent. Thus, production of more garments in lesser time makes the invention all the more alluring for the producers.
- Biometric smart shirts
Not only does there exist applications and gadgets for measuring the biometrics stats, but the new invention of wearable precision labs allow the wearer to keep a tab on their sleep, physicals activities, heart rate, breath count, stress levels, exertion measurement and last but not the least, the overall physical a little of the mental health.
The “second-skin” fabric workout shirt has silver fibres woven directly into the fabric and a small sensor-filled black box fitted that snaps into the shirt near the rib cage in order to monitor the biometric stats. This information is relayed to a Bluetooth connected smartphone. The further idea is to offer personalized and individualized workout suggestions according to the biometric stats recorded.
- Gaze activated dress
Technology has advanced to a very large extent. In the recent past there came an invention where a dress gets to know that it is being looked at; and when this happens, it reacts by dancing enthusiastically. Ying Gao, the mastermind behind this imagination, designed an interactive dress that tracks eye moments of the spectator using pupil recognition technology that has been embedded in the fabric of the garment. The sensors trigger tiny motors attached to the garment which leap into action when the gaze is detected. The photoluminescent threads keep twirling and dancing until the gaze moves on.
Gao has also devised a system whereby a gaze on the dress could turn off the lights, allowing the glow-in-the-dark dress to writhe spectacularly in the dark.
Inspired by this fashion comes the ‘Paparazzi lover dress’ which has 62 LED lights embedded in the garment. These LED lights are sensitive to camera flashes and get lit up when photographed. This innovation is a nice way to remind the paparazzi who the real star is – the dress!
- Google conductive fibres
Google and Levi’s recently revealed the first garment that was created through Project Jacquard, a partnership to develop interactive denim jackets woven with conductive fibres. Just like gadgets, this garment is set to gain access to control and connect to services such as music and maps. The jacket’s sleeve includes conductive yarn woven into the fabric, made on a loom just as any other fabric. The wearer can control the functionality with swipes and taps on the touch-enabled areas around the wrist portion of the jacket’s sleeve and uses an app to program its functionality
The electronics are stored in a removable smart tag; and everything other than this is washable and looks and acts like a traditional denim jacket. The Jacquard yarn combines thin, metallic alloys with yarns – cotton, polyester or silk – and is strong enough to be woven on industrial looms.
Fashion, combined with technology and innovation, creates new ways of communication between people, a new relationship between interface and body, and also a new connection of the body with technology and innovation. The position of technology in our society is getting more intimate by the day, and as technology is crawling closer to the skin, we will need to restructure and rethink about the relationship we would like to have with it. But on the current day, the amalgamation of ideas with technology, researches and masterminds are just mind-boggling and truly out of the box. It feels nice to be a part of such an exceptional and ingenious era of designers and fashion engineers.