How can TECH help FASHION to clean up its act?

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In the previous editions, we have been reading about the immense love affair between Fashion and Technology, which is truly a plus point for us. Coming years from now, Fashion weeks will showcase Technology on the ramp, too. Bizarre as it sounds, this is the ultimate future that lies ahead of us. Too much of intimacy was spoken about between the two. What about the love after it gets dirty? There is no denying, the love affair would create more comfort and will protect us. Who is going to clean up if Fashion gets wasted? If it does go in waste, wouldn’t that affect the environment? Would wastage be a concern or saving our Mother Earth? Aren’t we all contributing enough in destroying the atmosphere, already? Instead of taking preventive measures, we are still go about the same lifestyle by causing destruction and being absolutely ignorant and clueless about it?


The fashion industry is no different. Technology has helped the industry meet growing demands by making production more efficient and always available to the masses. But vast overproduction, propelled by fast fashion’s demands for new styles – has led to a host of additional problems, which causes increased chemical waste during production, along with thousands of tons of waste from worn, discarded or donated clothes.


Mankind is responsible by doing nothing about it, rather than acting on it, all it does just create more waste without worrying about the consequences. For instance, clothing brands adhere to the “fast fashion” model, where consumers can expect to find new clothes rolled out on the racks nearly every week instead of once a season. This causes excess of clothing resulting into wastage. Furthermore, companies are given the liberty to produce more garments more quickly and at less cost, without any checks. Therefore, fast fashion is now the second most wasteful industry in the world, behind the oil industry. A single garment creates a large carbon footprint, from the production that includes farming, harvesting, manufacturing, processing and shipping. Pesticides in cotton farming, toxic dyes in manufacturing and landfill waste of discarded clothing add to the environmental costs of a garment. Synthetic materials, like nylon and polyester, are not biodegradable. Laundering these clothes can also send thousands of tiny fibers and chemicals into the ocean.


Surprisingly, the clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the worldsecond only to oil. It is a huge area of concern as our demands will never stop neither will the populations diminish, anytime. Have you ever given it a thought? Rather than envisioning coal power plants, strip-mined mountaintops and raw sewage piped into our waterways. We don’t often think of the clothes we wear.


#techstyle features a piece by the company Bionic Yarn, which weaves denim clothing using recycled bottles found in the ocean. Designer Iris van Herpen’s “Water Splash Dress” uses recycled PET plastic and acrylic spray, creating the design from a video capture of actual water splashes. Nike’s Flyknit running shoe is an example of a product that hits this “sweet spot”. It doesn’t only knit to the shape of the foot, but it wastes almost no material, has a superb fit giving you the feeling of walking barefoot. Designers such as Eileen Fisher, Stella McCartney and Ralph Lauren are attempting to reshape the fashion industry by using organic textiles and reducing water and carbon waste. Levis also got in the act, by dissolving old clothes to make a new fiber that the company uses in its jeans – an alternative to water-intensive cotton production.


Thinking about the full life cycle of the garment and closing wasteful loops creates new opportunities for apparel and tech industries. Unfortunately, technology’s role in the fashion industry has mainly led to increased waste. Therefore, it is just cleaning up what it has stained and standing firmly with Fashion to keep the relation healthy and intact.


Polyester Eating Microbes Polyester is the most common material used to make clothes, and is made from petroleum as a raw material—is hard to recycle without losing quality. But, a new type of microbe can eat an old shirt and break the polymer down into a basic raw material that can be sold back to polyester manufacturers. The process even works on fabrics that are a mix of materials like cotton and polyester.– Food Waste into YarnA startup has developed a process that turns citrus byproducts into raw material that can be spun into yarn.– Algae FabricA traditional fabric like cotton usually has an enormous footprint. It can suck more than 20,000 liters of water to grow enough cotton for a single pair of jeans, and also uses more insecticides than any other crop in the world. Algae, on the other hand, doesn’t require extra water besides the oceans and lakes it lives and breeds in, leaving land free for growing food instead.– Turning Cotton into new clothingCotton is hard to recycle. But, a new process uses an environmentally friendly solvent to dissolve old cotton clothing into a cotton-like material that can be spun into new fibers—eliminating both waste and leaving carbon footprints.It goes without saying, we all love to be fashionable and keep up with the current trends of style. Everyone hates to be old fashioned and our demands are always on the rise. To meet the needs, technology stepped in to give you all the satisfaction, in terms of garments and fit. This in turn has led to carbon footprints while producing it and also led to surplus because trends keeps changing daily. What about the excessive clothing that is made? It all goes in waste without being used. This has an adverse effect on the environment. Therefore, it’s important for designers to utilize technology to craft products with purpose that are good for the environment but also aesthetically pleasing and affordable.Only then will the fashion industry move toward a more sustainable and smarter future.

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