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Revolutionizing the runway: Technology’s impact on the fashion infrastructure – ET CIO

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Saurabh Saxena, Group CIO, PDS Limited

In the vibrant realm where boundless creativity intertwines with cutting-edge technology, a subtle shift is underway, reshaping our perception of fashion. The fashion industry has come a long way since the era of sewing machines, now embracing a plethora of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, virtual fitting, inclusivity-focused tech, 3D printing, and blockchain. These innovations seamlessly integrate style with technology, marking a truly innovative evolution. Today, fashion runways are not just mere displays of clothing; they have transformed into platforms for high-tech shows. Augmented reality mirrors and eco-friendly fabrics take center stage, shaping a future that is not only sustainable and ethical but also undeniably captivating.Fashion Houses and the Digital Fabric of Existence Fashion houses are now at the vanguard of this transformation, weaving the digital fabric of our existence into the very threads of our clothing. They are pioneering the use of digital fashion to reduce waste, employing AI to forecast trends more accurately, and leveraging blockchain for transparency in the supply chain. This digital fabric is not just about the materials themselves but how they’re created, distributed, and interacted with, offering consumers a more immersive, personalized, and ethical experience. As the industry grows, it’s clear that the future of fashion is one where technology not only enhances aesthetic appeal but also fosters a more sustainable, inclusive, and health-conscious lifestyle. The evolution from mere clothing to intelligent wearables signifies a profound change in how we define fashion, identity, and the fabric of our daily lives.

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A fascinating story has emerged at this intersection of fashion and technology. Fashion houses, once style influencers, from Coco Chanel’s casual elegance to Dior and Balenciaga’s avant-garde silhouettes, are now adept in technology. Bella Hadid’s sprayed on dress during the Coperni Spring Summer 2023 at Paris Fashion Week is a fascinating example of partnerships of fashion seamlessly integrating technology into their core, blending style with functionality. This evolution has sparked the emergence of innovative ideas, business models and revenue streams, where every stitch becomes a line of code and every thread, a digital filament.

Protagonists of Progress: AI, IoT, 3D Printing, and BlockchainIn the dynamic landscape of fashion, technological advancements are driving a wave of innovation, reshaping the industry as we know it. At the forefront of this transformation are four key players: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), 3D Printing, and Blockchain

AI, fueled by the vast amounts of data collected from consumer interactions, preferences, and purchase history, has ushered in a new era of personalized fashion experiences. By leveraging sophisticated algorithms, AI can analyze individual tastes and behaviors, enabling fashion brands to tailor their offerings and recommendations to match the unique preferences of each customer. This level of customization not only enhances customer satisfaction but also fosters loyalty in an increasingly competitive market.

Meanwhile, the rise of wearable IoT devices is revolutionizing how people interact with fashion on a daily basis. From smart clothing to accessories embedded with sensors and connectivity features, these innovative gadgets are redefining the boundaries of functionality and style. By monitoring various aspects of the wearer’s health, activity levels, and environmental conditions, IoT devices provide valuable data insights that benefit both consumers and brands alike.

IoT devices are also extensively utilized in garment manufacturing processes, contributing to enhanced efficiency, quality control, and sustainability. Smart factories leverage IoT sensors and connectivity solutions throughout the production line to monitor machinery performance, optimize energy usage, and track inventory in real-time and prevent production errors. These IoT-enabled systems enable predictive maintenance, reducing downtime and minimizing production delays.

As the fashion industry continues to embrace technological innovation, 3D printing has emerged as a game-changer in the realm of design and manufacturing. This transformative technology allows designers to bring their wildest creative visions to life with unprecedented speed and precision. From intricate garments to customizable accessories, 3D printing offers endless possibilities for experimentation and customization, pushing the boundaries of traditional fashion production methods.

Finally, blockchain technology is revolutionizing transparency and traceability in the fashion supply chain. By creating an immutable ledger of transactions, blockchain ensures greater accountability and ethical sourcing practices. This newfound transparency not only enhances consumer trust but also empowers individuals to make more informed purchasing decisions, supporting brands that prioritize sustainability and ethical practices.

Eco-Conscious Fashion: Weaving Sustainability into the Fabric of Innovation

As environmental concerns grow, fashion is undergoing a style transformation and experiencing a high-tech revolution. Sustainable fabrics take the spotlight, crafted with eco-friendly fibers that soothe the conscience while gracefully dressing the body. The growth of digital tools that enhance customer experiences and streamline operations are on the rise. These tools include cutting-edge digital color management technology for virtual fabric swatch approvals, end-to-end process automation for courier management and vendor management, virtual sampling and showrooms for lifelike 3D visualizations of garments, 3D fabric simulations for digital sampling, and an upgraded integrated platform with enhanced features for streamlined processes and optimized productivity. The industry now uses technology to carefully track its processes, improve supply chains, and adopt a circular economy approach that aligns with the natural flow of Mother Nature.

In conclusion, the fashion industry finds itself at a pivotal moment in its evolution. From AI to VR, and 3D printing to blockchain, technology has fundamentally reshaped every aspect of the fashion ecosystem. Beyond mere design and sales, it has transformed how garments are conceived, manufactured, and consumed. This technological revolution has unlocked a realm of new possibilities; fostering a fashion landscape that is more personalized, sustainable, and inclusive. The seamless integration of diverse business and creative functions with robust IT infrastructure is crucial, facilitating the creation of an efficient, cost-effective, and eco-conscious fashion ecosystem. As we stand on the brink of this tech-driven future, it is evident that we have only begun to tap into the boundless potential of this extraordinary synergy between fashion and technology.

The author is Saurabh Saxena, Group CIO, PDS Limited.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are solely of the author and ETCIO does not necessarily subscribe to it. ETCIO shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly.

  • Published On Jun 11, 2024 at 04:03 PM IST

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