7 Reasons Why 3D-Printed Clothing is Your Wardrobe’s Dream Come True

Fashion seasons come and go, but what you wear today has a lasting impact on the world at large.
When you survey your closet, you may see — at face value — a collection of fabrics, styles, personalities, looks, feels. Alternatively, you may not see much of anything at all. What else could there possibly be hiding beneath the surface? 
The answer: a lot.
You see, the global apparel and footwear industry is responsible for 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, releasing four metric gigatonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. This is primarily a factor of three phases in the clothing manufacturing process: dyeing and finishing, yarn preparation, and fibre production.
Add to this issues surrounding working conditions, wages and child labor, and the lens in which you view “just clothes” continues to shift. For starters, consider that over 50% of fashion industry workers aren’t even paid minimum wage.
With this working knowledge, it’s easy to make the case for what you wear as more than just fabric — as more than just a fashion statement. What you wear is a reflection of what you stand for. And as a conscious consumer, you are an active participant in the creation of a better, more ethical world.
As a company, we truly believe that 3D printing has the power to revolutionize the fashion industry and its impact on society as we know it. 
While 3D-printed clothing is still a relatively new concept in the public’s eye, it is already very much a reality in both design and production. In fact, Julia Daviy’s New Age Clothing Lab is the premier studio where wearable 3D-printed clothing is produced and made available for sale to the masses.
If you’ve yet to consider 3D-printed clothing as an option for everyday wear, there’s no time like the present. 
Here are seven reasons why the 3D printing of clothing is your wardrobe’s dream come true:

Blue 3D-Printed Suit From The Liberation Collection

3D-Printed Suit from The Liberation Collection 2018

1. You’re Tech Savvy

You always have the newest smartphone in hand. You shop at Amazon’s checkout-free stores. You drive a Tesla (or at least dream about it).

 

If you think of yourself as a connoisseur of all things tech, then the 3D-printed styles — like the customizable, A-line skirt from Julia Daviy — was literally made for you. Using CAD-type software, 3D printers, and flexible materials, these made-to-order pieces are technological works of art.

2. You Stand By Conscious Brands

In the world of information that we live in, there’s little room for hidden agendas and foul play. Brands should be held accountable to the treatment of their workers, as well as transparency to their customers in the creation of their products from beginning to end.

 

3D-printing brings these issues front and center. Our methods at Julia Daviy revolve around an industry that is both cruely-free and slavery-free by nature.

3. You Believe in a Future Build Around Sustainability

The impact of fast fashion is one that has led to an increase in the levels of waste produced by the industry every year. The 3D printing of clothing makes it possible for us to imagine a world in which we don’t have to rely on massive amounts of water, toxic chemicals, or waste for the sake of style. From vision to reality, our 3D printed clothing is made from organic materials that are 100% recyclable and sustainable.

4. You’re an Advocate for Animal-Free Fashion

85% of the fur industry’s skins in the world of fashion come from animals held captive on fur factory farms. And this is just one sector of a very large manufacturing machine. If you’re vegan or a strong advocate for animal-free fashion, 3D printing is an animal-free alternative worth exploring.

 

Fresh Breeze of 3D-Printed Clothing and Accessories

5. You’re Bored with the Status Quo

Fast fashion doesn’t necessarily mean quality fashion. For those who are frustrated with what’s available on the market today, it’s time to invest in 3D-printed styles that are both classic and innovative in design — and durable in wear.

6. You’re a Trendsetter

Fashion is how you express yourself; it’s how you stand out in a crowd. With 3D printed clothing, you’re fashion-forward in both appearance and ethics.

7. You’re Fascinated by the 3D Printing Process

Maybe, above all else, you simply love the idea of 3D printing as a process. From the digital creation of designs to assembly, wear, recycle and repeat, there’s nothing more innovative found across the industry at this moment. 

 

Well, aside from 4D printing.

Final Thoughts: Why 3D-Printed Clothing is Your Wardrobe’s Dream Come True

Whatever your reason may be, the fact remains that 3D printed clothing is a consideration worth making. You owe it to your wardrobe, the environment, economy, and yourself to push for a new normal — one that imagines a better, more fashionably ethical world for generations to come.

Copyright: Julia Daviy

Any part of this text can not be reproduced.  

How the 3D Printing of Clothing is Shifting Supply Chains in Fashion

How the 3D Printing of Clothing is Shifting Supply Chains in Fashion 

3D printing is altering the perception of industry — shedding light on what materials could be and more importantly, how they could be produced. And truly, it has already begun to change the operational methods behind everything from automotive to architecture.

 

For the future of consumer goods, 3D printing (inevitably followed by 4D printing) has the potential to scale customization in a very real way. Take the Organic Skirt from Julia Daviy, for example. It’s the first of its kind; 3D modeled, printed, customizable, and ready-to-wear upon delivery.

 

And while the concept of on-demand, custom-tailored garments is truly astounding, it’s only the tip of the iceberg of benefits for society as a whole. What Tesla did for the auto industry, 3D printing has the potential to do for fashion.

 

Clothing Production: From Traditional to Circular

Realizing the benefit of 3D printing of clothing for the fashion industry should begin with a long hard look at production cycles.

The fashion sector is one of the largest industries in the global economy worth an estimated $2.4 trillion. A revolving door of trends, paired with non-stop demand, makes for a lot to keep up with from a manufacturing standpoint.

More traditional models of production are time-consuming and waste-heavy. They rely heavily on international labor markets, thanks to the emergence of large textile mills and factories in countries like China during the mid-1970s. Access to labor, raw materials, and increased capacity worked wonders for meeting marketplace demand at minimal cost — but not so much the environment.

 When you consider that, in traditional clothing manufacturing, 30-40% of fabrics are discarded at the stage of cutting and sewing alone, a need for change makes a whole lot of sense. Resources are limited and these methods aren’t sustainable for a world already at odds with climate change.

As a result, the concept of circular fashion has emerged over the last five or so years. It proposes a shift in fashion manufacturing — prioritizing local sourcing and production with an emphasis on using non-toxic, renewable, biodegradable, and recyclable resources. The life cycle of production is focused on long-term use with end-products that are able to be recycled, redesigned, or composted upon discarding.

This consciousness around long-term environmental and socio-economic impact is certainly a step in the right direction. But it does little to address the supply chains in fashion as they exist today — especially as they relate to fast fashion.

Fast Fashion Gone Wrong

With the emergence of brands like Zara, H&M, Top Shop, and Forever 21, fast fashion has become the new norm. It has upended the seasonality of release cycles, minimizing the time between when fashion trends are spotted and made available to customers in-store.

Companies are pressured to feed into this societal need for instant gratification. Even at the risk of negative long-term impact.

To increase the rate of production and keep up with 52 “micro-seasons” a year (compared to the more traditional four: winter, spring, summer, fall) corners have inevitably been cut.

Brands control costs through methods of rapid production and low-quality merchandise. This results in a massive negative impact on the environment through the use of toxic chemicals, dangerous dyes, and materials that are tossed as quickly as they’re purchased – unable to be broken down or given new life.

The 3D Printing Advantage for Fashion Design and Manufacturing

With the 3D printing of clothing, the circular fashion method is brought full circle. It makes the concept of zero-waste possible at every stage — design, logistics, and production. This is in addition to supporting a cruelty-free and slavery-free experience in postprocessing and assembly.

 

Now, it’s a solution that continues to evolve and challenges to solve for in implementation. But here at Julia Daviy, we’ve already solved for questions around 3D printing with flexible materials and large-format 3D printers. According to our method, we design each piece of clothing digitally — using 3D modelling and CAD software. This allows us to work with 3D printable files or files with patterns, 3D printing each piece of clothing in several parts, and assemble accordingly.

 

Additionally, we make use of 100% recyclable materials — allowing items to be reworked an unlimited number of times while maintaining quality. We’re even working on a project with our materials manufacturer where we collect used clothing and accessories for repurposing. Above all else, I believe it’s these types of “organic” processes that will help us achieve sustainability in fashion.

Final Thoughts: Supply Chains in Fashion and the 3D Printing of Clothing

Fast fashion implications on American clothing manufacturing won’t be easy to come back from. It remains highly-labor intensive and ill-equipped to embrace advanced technology. But developing a widely-adopted process for 3D printed clothing manufacturing isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

 

As our work at Julia Daviy has shown, the solutions exist. It’s just about progressing the work already done at a much larger scale. And in doing so, we can more than imagine a day when manufacturing in the fashion industry is truly localized, sustainable, ethical, and problem-solving for future communities.

 

 

 

4D Printing: Building Smart Fashion of the Future Today

4D Printing: Building Smart Fashion of the Future Today 

The technology of today is far different than that of 20, 10 — even 5 years ago. Self-driving cars are accelerating worldwide, smart home devices are increasingly commonplace, and economies are on their way towards becoming completely cashless.

And these trends in technological advancement can be found impacting every industry, even fashion. Consider, for example, recent applications of AI in both design and online shopping. Or the 3D-modeled, digitally customizable skirts from Julia Daviy — the first of their kind in 3D-printed, ready-to-wear fashion available to the market.

More astounding yet are emerging shifts in the manufacturing of fashion textiles. If you can visualize a garment, designers are inching their way closer to being able to create it in a matter of hours through the use of 3D printing technology.

 

The speed of production and availability of materials in 3D printing may not be prime for mass adoption just yet, but solutions are on the horizon as these technologies continue to mature. And as this current technology grows smarter, new evolutions arise.

At Julia Daviy specifically, we’ve made massive shifts over the last three years with regards to 3D-printed textiles. We’ve successfully transitioned from homemade plastic 3D-printed garments pieced together from multiple segments, to a more flexible 3D-printed clothing material created using large-format 3D printers. This material has now been recommended as a must-have for women’s wardrobe by British Vogue.

And now it’s time to move even further forward as we explore 4D printing for fashion — an application poised to change the ways in which we design and wear clothes forever.

What is 4D Printing?

4D printing is a method of manufacturing built around the idea of self-assembly. This isn’t to say that you, as the wearer, would be required to assemble anything, however. Instead, it implies that “things” would actually be able to make themselves.

Skylar Tibbits, an MIT researcher and expert in the field, discusses the concept in relation to buildings. Through the use of 4D printing technology, architects could design skyscrapers capable of changing shape and repairing themselves post-production. It’s a technology that could completely re-envision city skylines and infrastructure.

The Difference Between 3D and 4D Printing

3D printing is no stranger to the world of product design. The process essentially transforms digital designs into 3D physical objects — building them out layer by layer.

This differs from 4D printing in the sense that a printer will put to use specially designed materials that can change shape. This means sophisticated, 3D printed designs can be taken one step further and made to change their appearance based on programmed triggers like water, light, heat, or other simple energy output.

 

4D Printing Applications in Fashion

When it comes to fashion, Julia Daviy is one of the only designers to begin implementing 3D printing techniques in creating everything from shirts to dresses. Not only are these methods functional, but they’re also sustainable — committed to environmental friendliness through the popularized zero-waste wearables.

With 4D printing, fashion designers and studios are bringing new visions to life. Nervous System out of Massachusetts, for example, has created jewelry and garments with articulated joints. This allows pieces to automatically change shape once removed from the printer and placed on the model — resulting in pieces that better fit to the form of any body shape.

In theory, 4D printing is a method of manufacturing that could be used in designing fashion that does far more than change shape. Imagine a button-down, simple in design and function to the naked eye. With 4D printing, designers could program these items to change color or take on an entirely new pattern.

Alternatively, this same approach could be used to alter the length of a dress or the neckline of a top. Style needs aside, 4D-printed clothing can also be self-programmable enough to protect against humans changing their shape and other characteristics (e.g. density) under extreme conditions. All of this means consumers could have more control than ever before over the design and fit of “smart clothing” tailored to their exact liking and/or environment without the cost of expensive alterations.

4D Printing Limitations

4D printing may certainly sound too good to be true, but the potential is real. What has yet to become a reality, similar to 3D printing, is mass adoption within the fashion industry.

As with any newer technology, more time is needed to advance efforts, lower costs, and work out the kinks. Studios are still very much in the experimental phase of bringing 4D printed designs to life as they work with limiting materials and slower production times.

Final Thoughts: 4D Printing and Smart Fashion of the Future

There’s no denying that fast changes are underway. Designs have come a long way since the first 3D printed objects — transforming into pieces that are not only wearable but marketable to the larger consumer market, like the Organic skirt by Julia Daviy. In order to see 4D printing come to life on a larger scale, we need to continue to refine and popularize methods of 3D printing for today, tomorrow, and beyond.

Tell us how you see the industry further evolving in the comment section below.

 

Text: Julia Daviy

 

Photo: Danil Kaistro, Vita Zamchevska

Any part of these text and photos is a subject of Copyright. Use it for quotation requires a direct link on JuliaDaviy.com

Behind the Scene of the First Zero-Waste Digitally Customized 3D Printed Skirt

First Zero-Waste Digitally Customized 3D Printed Skirt Commercially Available

3D printing is on the verge of going mainstream. Both in the public eye, where 3D printing is starting to figure in the plots of television shows, and in commercial applications. Investment in commercial 3D printing equipment has grown more than tenfold in the last three years, and some industries—notably aerospace—have begun to adopt 3D printing into their design and manufacturing workflows.  

Somewhere between 3D printing’s history as a hobby and its growing future as a means of mass production lie applications like fashion. As I’ve gotten ready to produce the world’s first digitally customizable 3D-printed skirt, I’ve been thinking about how far the technology has come in the last few years, and how a new paradigm is forming around 3D-printed fashion. More than just a new business model, I believe that 3D printing is the method around which an entire new age of fashion is taking shape.  

The Two Eras of Fashion 

For most of human history, fashion was largely a local affair, usually the domain of women responding to the demands of climate and culture. Even where raw materials like cotton or wool were plentiful, clothing designers rarely had a broad range of materials to choose from. The same thing applied to dyes and fixatives like alum, and to the materials used to provide functional and decorative accessories like buttons and beads. 

What women in the first age of fashion may have lacked in terms of materials, they more than made up for with technical innovation and ingenious approaches to design that built sophisticated fashion vernaculars out of relatively few components. Those techniques and designs inform fashion to this day, but on a commercial scale they do so at a remove, as inspirations from a past era. 

The Industrial Revolution had the same impact on fashion that it did on many other industries. New means of transportation brought raw materials from around the world to factories where garments were produced in mass quantities. The tradition of handcrafted clothing persisted for some time, but even then, dressmakers and tailors were usually working with mechanically produced fabrics.  

In the 20th century, widespread globalization produced the fashion industry we know today. Design has been largely divorced from production: fashion designers work with textile firms to select distinctive woven materials or to produce unique ones; their designs, however carefully developed in the studio, are produced in factories, often in problematic conditions. 

Fashion’s Next Era 

We are just getting a glimpse of fashion’s third era. 3D printing offers the same prospect of wholesale change to the fashion industry that the Industrial Revolution delivered. In some ways, new era offers a compelling synthesis of the two that preceded it. 

 

 

The software employed in the 3D printing process reunites the modes of design and production that were rendered discrete by the advent of mass production. On a more practical level, the challenges of 3D fashion design would be familiar to our first-era forebears. 3D designers currently have a relatively small palette of raw materials to choose from, and necessity has given birth to some fascinating advances in technique. At the same time, we benefit from the second era’s legacy: new materials are constantly in development, and are becoming commercially available with increasing frequency.   

A New Production Model 

The first and second eras of fashion were defined in part by the ways that fashion was consumed. In the first era, fashion often denoted and reinforced affiliation with local or regional communities. While individual designers and garment-makers of special genius were celebrated locally and regionally, they did not produce fashions for large markets.  

That has been the second era’s specialty, and the economies of scale necessary for fashion to reach global markets have benefited consumers as surely as they have degraded the lives of garment workers and in many ways degraded the wider fashion vernacular. 

3D printing is still an immature enough technology that economies of scale don’t apply just yet. But value- and supply chains serving commercial 3D printing are developing quickly, and the core technology behind 3D printing becomes more powerful each year.  

3D clothing was something of a novelty as recently as a few years ago, when designers were devoted to proofs of concept similar to those demonstrated by the more outré entries at fashion shows. It’s a novelty no more. The challenge today is to develop protocols, pipelines, and business models that allow the mainstream production of 3D printed clothing. 

A New Commitment to Environmental Friendliness 

 

In emphasizing economies of scale, fashion’s second era didn’t just affect the lives of garment workers: its impact on the environment has been increasingly severe. From short-sightedly intensive cultivation methods to the widespread use of nonbiodegradable materials, our current methods of producing garments for widespread distribution are completely unsustainable. 

 

The next era of fashion must and will place these concerns at the center of the entire process, from design to manufacture, sale to disposal.

Several prominent designers have made valiant efforts to source their materials ethically, and to reduce the overall environmental impact of their collections.  But those efforts, however noble, are insufficient to the challenges before us. A properly complete rethinking of the fashion industry addresses the need for completely biodegradable materials and zero-waste production methods while offering customers stylish, comfortable garments on their own terms. 3D printing alone fulfils that mandate. 

 

Tell us how you see the industry further evolving in the comment section below.

Text: Julia Daviy

Photo: Danil Kaistro

 

 

 

Any part of these text and photos is a subject of Copyright. Use it for quotation requires a direct link on JuliaDaviy.com

 

Is SLA 3D Printing Future of Fashion Industry?

Is SLA 3D Printing  Future of Fashion Industry?

Designers, visionaries, and entrepreneurs are spearheading the movement that will result in some of the most innovative clothing and accessories to show up on runways (and eventually your home) in decades.

Though there are still current limitations to how stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing can be used in the fashion industry — it’s safe to say that we are at the brink of a revolution.

SLA 3D printing is different than much of the the 3D printing already being put to use in the fashion industry. There are, in fact, three forms of 3D printing being used: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Selective laser sintering (SLS), and SLA.

 

I love FDM for its potential to achieve zero-waste, but hate the imperfection of the 3D printing process faced when using it. An alternative that achieves higher quality “impossible” 3D pieces is SLS technology. However, it’s very resource-intensive and dirty.  

 

This leaves SLA 3D printing, which allows a designer to achieve the highest of quality with zero waste, as the clear future system for the fashion industry, especially because it also requires less human supervision. However, because the technology is relatively new, few fashion designers have put in the effort to understand its capabilities.

 

At the 3D Printing Clothing Lab and Studio I run with my partner, we use large-format industrial SLA 3D printers as part of the first 3D printed clothing manufacturing model in the United States — if not the world. It was in this lab that I created a dress for New York Fashion Week 2018 with a base made from with the ahimsa silk organza fabric and a 3D pattern in flexible resin.

Though I am well-versed in all three forms of 3D printing, I find myself drawn to SLA technology, often experimenting with it. Not only exploring the potential of SLA 3D printing itself but imagining and creating prototypes of an ideal SLA 3D printer for clothing and accessories production.

 

Though fashion designers are already elbows deep in exploring the potential of SLA 3D printing, it’s not quite economical — yet.

Electric Potential

Today, 3D printed clothes have the same meaning for the fashion industry as Telsa had for the automobile market five years ago.

 

Basically, we are establishing a trend and laying the foundation for a new market. But it’s exactly the same as how electric cars couldn’t compete in the market with traditional models: because there was no established production of cheap and reliable components. Only now, with Telsa releasing its Model 3 with an affordable base price of $35,000, does the company have a vehicle that is profitable to manufacture.

 

Unfortunately, there is a great amount of confusion and misinformation out there with regards to where 3D printing really stands with regards to being able to be used in production for the fashion industry.

 

At this point, the primary thing holding back the fashion industry with regards to fully embracing the potential of SLA 3D printing is decision-makers inertial, old-fashioned way of thinking about the industry.

 

For some reason, many fail to recognize that the technology has gotten to the point that it’s scalable. It doesn’t have to be used solely for creating single pieces of art. One case in point is Adidas teaming up with Silicon-valley based Carbon in their Futurecraft 4D series.

 

For these shoes, running data from athletes are mapped out to establish optimal cushioning and support in the midsole. A design based on this information is then printed using Carbon’s Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) enabled DLS technology in a UV-curable resin and polyurethane mixture. SLA 3D printing is at the heart of the DLS technology that makes these highly responsive shoes possible.

 

Carbon printed 100,000 midsoles for sneakers last year and plans to achieve a million items in 2019-2020.

 

In fact both Adidas and Under Armour have promised a future where customers can 3D print their sneakers in-store might not be high fashion, it’s certainly an aggressive step forward in the way of using 3D printers for fashion on a commercial level.

 

The other artificial hurdle raised when the powers at be try to stifle the progress of the fashion industry with their old ways is the claim that 3D printing is too expensive to compete in the market place.

 

Sure, it’s not cheap when compared to mass-market bulk items coming out of sweatshops of developing nations. These sort of garments created in the fast-fashion world, which has already killed the American clothing industry in terms of tastes for quality design and innovation, fuel the unethical system of production that relies on the exploitation of women and children in far-off countries. However, if you’re looking at luxury fashion items, 3D printed items hit the mark.

 

For the same amount you’d pay for a simple Gucci jacket with high-end trimming made the old-fashioned way, you can buy an absolutely unique 3D printed jacket that’s one of the first such garments in the world. This jacket, created in our lab, would also have the high-end trimming, as our seamstresses are some of the best in the US and have experience working for brands such as Chanel and Balenciaga. So, for those willing to spend money on luxury fashion items, SLA 3D printing is able to compete with top brands in terms of price and quality.

 

 

Limitations of SLA 3D printing

Though SLA 3D printing is the most effortless form of 3D printing and can be used to create otherwise impossible 3D patterns, there are limitations.

 

One of those limitations is the low printing volume. However, low volume tends to come with the territory when making high-end, luxury items.

 

Additional drawbacks include wastewater issues, though the inclusion of water recycling technology into SLA 3D printers seems like a real possibility in the not-too-distant future. There is also the issue of the process being potentially unsafe to just leave going in a home where there are kids.

 

The real limitation at this point in time is there are no ready-to-use solutions in the market place for designers. However, this will certainly change with time.

 

 

Solutions on the Horizon. 

In March, I was invited as a speaker to take part in the BIG IDEAS for UV+EB Conference that was held in Redondo Beach, California. The large part of the conference was devoted to the breakthrough of SLA 3D printing.

 

Besides talking about the new age of fashion—3D printing and other cutting-edge fashion technology—I presented our vision of the SLA 3D printing machines that the fashion industry needs.

 

I returned to my studio and lab not only with a lot of positive feedback on my speech but also with some fresh thoughts and materials to test for SLA 3D printed fashion.

 

These materials have excellent properties, they could be printed into flexible, durable, and “pleasant by touch” fashion items. That experience and those materials make me sure that the future of 3D printed fashion is much real and arriving much sooner than many industry experts think.

 

Tell us how you see the industry further evolving in the comment section below.

 

Text: Julia Daviy

Photo: Vita Zamchevska

 

Any part of these text and photos is a subject of Copyright. Use it for quotation requires a direct link on JuliaDaviy.com

 

 

AI in Fashion Poised to Change Industry’s Future

 

AI in Fashion Poised to Change Industry’s Future

Artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly permeating many aspects of our lives, from Alexa to Netflix.

Though still in its infancy — the robots are not taking over yet — AI is revolutionizing nearly all industries, including fashion. AI in fashion is already applicable to mass-production fashion, while entrepreneurs in the tech-fashion world scramble to refine other applications for consumer use.

 

Not only is it essential to understand the role AI will play in the fashion industry, it’s paramount to understand the ethical maze that we must walk to ensure that the technology promotes sustainable fashion. With the wrong algorithms, the wrong code, the wrong feedback loops, the future of fashion AI could be devastating to our planet.

 

Thankfully, the maze is not that difficult to navigate if you have the will to do so.

AI Discovering Future of Fashion

For the most part, AI in fashion is being used to rapidly identify either general trends or personal tastes of users based on enormous amounts of public data scrubbed from social media sites, such as Pinterest and Instagram. 

According to the Advertising Specialty Institute, a quick search of “#fashion” on Instagram reveals more than half a billion results. Sorting through that amount of big data to obtain meaningful insights and trends is only possible through AI. The project StreetStyle by Kavita Bala, chair of the computer science department at Cornell University, does exactly that.

 

The AI created for the project is able to develop a map of style trends and influencers by analyzing 14.5 million photos publicly shared on social media. The program is capable of answering questions, such as: How many people wear black in Los Angeles today, compared with two years ago? Or, where in the world is the hijab most prevalent?

 

One AI fashion company that has gained traction is Stitch Fix, which creates personalized suggestions of articles and accessories based on a user’s selected preferences and social-media activity.

 

Think about how much easier life would be if you could ditch your friends with sometimes-questionable fashion tastes and just ask your AI: Alexa, how do I look today? Then, Alexa could tell you that though the cut of your jeans is coming back in style based on your age and socio-economic standing, they certainly should not be worn with that print shirt.

AI Fashion Designers

Going beyond recognizing trends and allowing designers and producers to adapt more quickly to consumer needs, there is an attempt to have AI do the actual designing.

Though what is being rolled out is clearly unfashionable, there is work being rolled out.

At the research center Lab126, an Amazon team has already developed an algorithm using a generative adversarial network, or GAN — which exists on the frontline of computer learning.

Will Knight explained in MIT Technology Review that the algorithm developed by the team “learns about a particular style of fashion from images, and can then generate new items in similar styles from scratch—essentially, a simple AI fashion designer.” However, he admits that the system is still fairly crude — hardly a word any designer wants to hear about their work.

AI Ethics in Fashion

Despite its clear benefits for marketing and identifying trends, AI’s role in the future of fashion is riddled with pitfalls. We need to make sure we’re not using technology to widen inequality or worsen social injustice.

 

The tsunami is coming — that is clear. However, what form it takes when it makes land depends on a lot more than just efficient coding and rapid processing of big data. There are ethical questions with regards to all AI endeavors. And, because the fashion industry is plagued by ethical dilemmas, any AI being used will face those same questions.

 

 

Though you can include a note to your Stitch Fix stylist requesting ethically sourced, sustainable fashion items, that’s not the same as having AI recognize the trend in sustainable fashion from Instagram posts.

It really comes down to the choice made by a handful of people developing AI fashion programs for the industry. The future of fashion is in their fingertips; their views and moral values, as well as attention to ethical and sustainability questions, will revolutionize the fashion industry one or the other.

 

Designers and consumers must come together to ask AI fashion programers these ethical questions. Doing so is essential to the future of fashion and our planet.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts regarding AI in sustainable fashion in the comment box below.

When it comes right down to it, technology is not self-determining, yet. It is a tool that can be wielded for good, such as prioritizing sustainable fashion, or for bad, such as putting fashion ahead of the health of our planet.

Ask Yourself These Questions

To move forward with AI technology in the fashion industry, designer, consumers, and coders — who probably don’t know stilettos from wedges — need to ask themselves, and the industry, some very specific questions.

The most important is whether or not AI in the fashion industry will be designed to promote sustainable fashion. Without coding in ways to measure the new generation of consumers’ demand for sustainable fashion, AI could easily produce “hard data” that leads the industry astray.

 

 esse, quam nihil molestiae consequatur.

Any path where machine-learning programs attempt to replace humans in the creation of fashion trends needs to be riddled with safeguards. There must be sentries standing guard over what is fundamentally important: does this fashion address the environmental, ethical, and cruelty-free questions that the new generation of consumers are asking?

Another big question that will impact our world is whether or not programmers of fashion AI algorithms are willing to provide a solution to the overconsumption that plagues the industry. At this point, it seems that such programs are more geared toward increasing overconsumption, pushing boxes of low quality, unstainable clothing and accessories on people who do not need them. Without addressing this issue, AI could simply escalate the issue of overconsumption in the industry.

The last question boils down the question of art. Is AI capable of creating art? An algorithm has been used to write a novel now, but can it define style? Style does not bloom from trends, trends are in fact the flowers of style.

It is far too easy to get caught up in the rhetoric and marketing capabilities of the AI being used by the fashion industry. Though AI is neither good nor bad, it is capable of both depending on what questions we ask while it’s being developed.

Consumers, designers, and programmers must ask these questions as we move into the future of fashion.

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