THE NEXT BLACK: INNOVATE TO PROGRESS IN FASHION
As we progress into the millenium where human impact on the planet is at its peak and thoughts of another planet are currently being explored, innovations for a sustainable lifestyle is the only promising future. Some serious introspection is required when it comes to consuming one of life’s key essentials- clothing.
With 7 billion individuals on this Earth feeding on the $1.7 trillion industry, one can only begin to think of the consequences. With trends changing every other month and clothes flying off shelves in seconds, the thought of consumption is rather disturbing. The concept of clothing has surprisingly been more or less been the same since over a century. This means the styles have changed but not their purpose of making. With a majority of conventional methods still being adopted worldwide, it is time to innovate and improvise upon the current production processes to reduce the detrimental effects. There has to be a way out of this misery.
This is where eye-opening films like the ‘The Next Black’ step in to provide an optimistic perspective for the same. Not only do they challenge the current norms but also leave scope for future possibilities with their developing prototypes. The rate of the destruction caused by the industry is rather alarming.We need to bring about a modern clothing revolution to truly reverse the damage caused by the fashion sector alone. We have to adapt and evolve according to the fast changing environment in order to sustain mankind. It just takes some great ideas but tonnes of research to transform clothing like never before.
With innovations brought about by BioCouture, Studio XO, Patagonia and sports giant Adidas as mentioned in the documentary, the battle isn’t fully lost as yet. There actually might be many such companies working towards a solution but may not yet be recognised.Fashion in today’s digital age is not just about protection and identity, but also about the clothes interacting and involving. It’s about the overall experience. The clothes have to almost speak here (well almost).
Having been inspired by futuristic films and science fiction, the 21st Century ventures into the world of wearable technology. Clothing is no longer a means of just protection from harsh weather conditions, but also a medium to enhance productivity in everyday life. With performance-based lifestyle being the new age of living, Adidas is one of sport’s big-wigs to integrate sports with body performance. Considering the physiological aspect into the picture, not only does it keep a basic tab of your body metrics but it could also hold the key to unlock the hidden potentials of the body. Mankind has only tapped a fraction of combining technology with fashion seamlessly, the future definitely holds some exciting scope for the untapped potential.
Studio XO is another label leagues ahead of its time. Digital couture has enabled it to go one step further in the domain of fashion with this process. It orchestrates fashion, science, technology and music into one frame. Under the design leadership of Nancy Tilbury and Ben Males, Digital Couture as they say will soon take the world by a storm. For fashion in today’s era is all about creating a visual impact and Studio XO delivers the same. Lady Gaga, the ‘Queen of Crazy’ when it comes to fashion had donned Studio XO’s creation at the iTunes Film Festival. The dress featured a highly engineered design that would blow bubbles through a network of pipes. As a concept, the dress would definitely sound futuristic to many a few years ago but is now a successful reality. They have also embedded LED lights in controlled sequences in outfits for stars like Fergie & Azelia Banks. Studio XO had also collaborated with a Bangkok-based company, the Yeh Group for an air-dye technique that eliminates the need for water with help from Carbon Dioxide. It is a groundbreaking discovery that will help reduce toxic wastes being discharged into thousand litres of water. This would hopefully eliminate a common practise among factories that produce garments and dump wastes into rivers for fast-fashion brands like Zara and H&M.
With sustainable fashion being the need of the hour, BioCouture is a company that has successfully created a fabric that holds a lot of promise. Derived from the simple processes of nature, the fabric is made out of sugar, yeast, acetic acid. This would mean a world where we don’t recklessly exploit resources constantly to meet the ever-growing demands for fast fashion. All we need is nature which is an endless source for inspiration.
Going old-school where things were bought and taken care of is the new trend that hopes to stay. ‘I fix It’ is a company that focuses on mending broken clothes thus increasing the life of such garments. Not only does it limit reckless spending but also makes the item more treasured. They have tutorials on the Youtube that showcase how to fix a variety of items from iPhones to clothes. Not only does it promotes clothes that last, but also encourages going green with recycling. Buying less and caring more is the new motto to abide by.
There should be increased accountability and responsibility by companies on their impact on the planet. Patagonia is a brilliant firm that entwines social responsibility with their brand promoting recycling and use of organic products. The bright side is that organic is slowly but surely catching up with the rest of the countries.
Education, innovation and participation are the three keys that can not only bring exciting inventions in fashion, but could also help save the planet. Who knows that in the next few decades factories would’nt exist and we could create our own clothes instead. Hopefully, we could be our own versions of Coco Chanel that would create and remain timeless in fashion for years to come.
Image Courtesy: Studio XO, Adidas, Bio Couture, Patagonia