RECAP: Next Tex #5
Future Trends from Munich Fabric Start
Digital Textile Connection
The virtual and the physical have never been closer with the help of the DMIx Cloud. Accurately capturing, communicating and visualising colour and texture from analogue to digital, the DMIx Cloud speeds up the design process from weeks to minutes – and so naturally the Digital Textile Connection exhibition was well received. “This solution saves a huge amount of resources,” said Olaf Kölling, CTO at ColorDigital during the Next Tex Panel Talk, “An Italian weaver might produce 100 000 metres of fabric per year – only for sampling.” But it’s not only materials that are saved, as Dr Martin Lades, Business Director of Fashion Product Systems at Human Solutions pointed out: “Travelling, packaging and delivery too can be cut by more than half.” The aim is to completely virtualise the supply chain so that no resources go to waste, and as Andreas Stephan, Business Manager at Epson suggests: “This solution will also have a huge impact on the world of personalised fashion*” – more of which below.
Putting the AI in Fashion
Flexing the AI’s creative muscle, Berlin-based sportswear brand Yooneeque transforms personal training data into unique prints, while ZyseMe’s machine learning algorithms use customer inputs about their body, habits and clothing preferences to accurately calculate individual sizes, and can even lend a hand in the design. At the moment more than half the clothing purchased online is returned due to poor fit, therefore precise sizing will result in fewer returns and logistical nightmares, making life more convenient for both customer and retailer. Furthermore it opens up the potential for on-demand micromanufacturing and lot size one production, which means retailers won’t have to carry lots of stock or worry about stockouts. Automated pre-production will also save on labour and the potential of customisation can give brands – particularly in sportswear – the competitive edge by offering consumers the power to create the clothes they want to wear. Case in point: Nike has upped their game by focusing on personalised direct to consumer sales, *so it probably won’t be long before DMIx Cloud solutions move into the B2C arena.
No longer the preserve of the niche gadget market, fashion technology, smart textiles, wearables and the IoT are starting to be taken seriously by the wider fashion and textiles industry. KC Textil’s tech solutions from wearable wireless device charging to personal heating systems and odour control products caught the eye of big industry players in textiles, e-commerce, software and automotives, along with Lunative Lab whose smart light wear components can withstand up to 70 washes (Google x Levi’s Jacquard jacket only manages 10) – making it perfect for outerwear in the dark Winter months. Elsewhere in the Keyhouse FashNerd brought fashion tech to the frontend with their Wardrobe of the Future, showcasing the latest in ready-to-wear wearables, many already available to buy. We particularly liked how EMEL + ARIS installed heated panels into their lightweight trench coats so they can be worn all year round, plus you can pack less when travelling to colder climates.
Biomimicry: Nature’s Way
Circular is the way business is rolling and if you don’t have a sustainable strategy in place then you’re clearly out the loop. Taking a leaf from nature’s playbook, zero-waste is the goal and the likes of Recyc Leather and Manaomea are avoiding the landfill by adding another lifecycle or two to waste leather and textiles respectively. A big round of applause goes to Cocccon for coming second in the Hightex Awards: the Keyhouse innovation prize for outstanding product development, for their range of luxury fair trade, eco-conscious silks – including PET2Silk exhibited at Next Tex, a silk-like fabric made from recycled PET bottles.
Digitisation is also playing a big part in facilitating sustainable practices, whether that’s the DMIx Cloud minimising waste, shipping and packaging, producing only what’s needed through custom manufacturing via ZyseMe and Printcubator, or Triple Tree Solutions’ cloud-based ERP software increasing transparency across the supply chain. Outside Next Tex, the Sustainable Innovations Forum curated by Simon Angel and the Bluezone Festival further reinforced the fact that sustainability is where it's at.
Innovate and Collaborate!
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