Technology and Innovation Jul2019

Fashion consumption will continue to evolve driven by technology and innovation

Over the years fashion has become all pervasive

The notion of fashion as solely fulfilling the need to protect oneself from the environment is a concept of the past. Over the years, apparel has evolved into a style statement and is conceived as a desire rather than a need.

Today, the global fashion market has attained a value of US$ 1.9 trillion and is expected to grow at 4% to reach a value of US$ 3 trillion by 2030. This surge in the fashion market is owed to the ever-evolving consumer desires and the increased expenditure on clothing. The fast fashion trend has been reshaping the fashion industry by catering to the consumers’ needs of trendy clothes for a lower price. The market for fast fashion has been growing significantly by 21% over the past three years owing to the high growth of fast fashion pioneers like Zara, H&M, and Forever21, and is expected to continue this growth momentum.
Fashion Consumption will further evolve
The fashion industry is witnessing a constant stream of innovation, with a myriad of technologies creating new experiences for consumers. The future structural shifts that will govern fashion consumption will be based on:

• Influx of technology in fashion

• Developments in material science

a) Growth of online fashion industry
The big impact of technology in consumption patterns has been witnessed in the last few years by the high growth of online garment industry sales at the cost of physical stores. The influence of the internet has increased significantly in consumer purchases and shaping sales patterns across the globe. The growth of this category is evident from its significant share of 27% in the USA’s overall apparel sales.


b) Technology adoption in fashion will be fast tracked
With advanced manufacturing techniques like 3D printing and waterless dyeing from simple sewing machine stitching, the clothing industry is weighing different inventions to manufacture the most cost-effective and desirable garment. With the introduction of interactive garments and wearable technology, these innovations are not only limited to how the garment manufacturing industry functions, but are also modifying the manner in which products interact with the environment and consumers. Going forward technology will play a bigger role in determining fashion consumption.


Developments in material science
New developments in the field of material science are greatly enhancing the functionality of the existing products. Innovations in the textile value chain are incorporated right from the raw material stage with addition of desired properties in the fabric. These developments are aimed at making textile commodities more durable, ecological, sustainable, and at the same time, futuristic. Further developments in material science will determine the nature of fashion products consumed in the future.

The fashion industry is uniquely competitive and its growth doesn’t represent any sign of slowing down in the near future. Brands are taking an active stance to adjust to changing consumer behavior by increasingly embracing the avenues of technology and product innovation.

The article has been authored by B. Prakash, Associate Director and Swati Jain, Associate Consultant.