Fashion in the digital world


The fashion industry is recognised to be one of the largest industries in the world. According to a survey conducted by Fashion United, its total revenue is valued at more than $3000 billion, which is approximately 2% of the world’s GDP. While technology has been a part of the industry right from manufacturing to post-production, the industry is currently going through the transformational tunnel of digitisation.

This is not only about data management but also about reducing the cost and enhancing efficiency. Traditional methods of designing clothes involves large amounts of waste. A recent study by Aalto University reported that the fashion industry generates 92 million tons of waste every year. Shifting to a 3D-digital design process can help reduce this massive waste production by approximately 75%.

Recent research by IMRG and Hive found that fashion retailers are planning significant investment in artificial intelligence (AI) in the coming years. By using computer-aided systems and AI techniques, one can match supply with demand and limit unnecessary manufacturing. AI can also be cross-leveraged with augmented reality (AR) to further improve shopper experiences. Technology-driven virtual fitting rooms in combination with chatbots, are being utilised by fashion retailers around the world. Digitising working processes can also help fashion retailers expand into greater markets, save time and money, develop effective marketing campaigns and new products.

Customers can use digital platforms to research competitive prices, personal splurging limits, varieties, sizes etc. AI-based technology also enables customers to connect with sellers through virtual buyer-seller meets.

In fashion education

All this has an impact on fashion education as well. Apart from allowing students across the globe to connect with and learn from top designers, digitisation of education will enable them to get their designs recognised and validated through various portals and keep track of customer preferences and choices for future decision-making processes. Students in the fashion industry can adapt to simulation-based learning, which speeds up the process by permitting the designer to quickly address issues related to apparel fitting by visualising the changes in the garment.

While there are issues of plagiarism, rising competition, overflow of communication with customers and suppliers, fashion brands cannot ignore the advantages of the digital era.

The writer is Centre Manager, INIFD Kothrud

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 3:04:50 AM |

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