Fashion has the ability to set and create trends that last for years, extending themselves beyond just fashion and weaving their way into the zeitgeist of culture. However, at the same time fashion is slow to adopt change and as an industry can be fairly conservative.
London-based designer Martine Jarlgaard wants to change this and at her TNW 2019 presentation in Ansterdam argued that fashion industry needs to change not just for the sake of looking better, but to better change the world around us by creating a sustainable industry.
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Jarlgaard's TNW presentation painted a picture of a new type of fashion industry, one dictated by things like Blockchain technology, circularity, sustainability, and merging of realities. If done, right the future of fashion will look very different from what you know now.
The Future of Fashion
According to a study from Mckinsey & Company, annual clothing production exceeded 100 billion items for the first time in 2014 and this has a terrible cost. In a world that loves fast fashion, that same industry has a dramatic effect on our planet, with fashion being the second most polluting global industry.
During her TNW presentation, Martine Jarlgaard proposed that we radically rethink fashion and both its function and role on this planet. Her argument centers around a planet currently experiencing a global identity crisis; a world which technology has connected people more than ever, yet the world has never been more disconnected.
Jarlgaard proposes that we take a look at ourselves, questioning what in this society do we actually value? What is considered success? Will future success be defined by things like emotional intelligence or consumption? Jarlgaard wants a radical overhaul of our values, leading to the dematerializing of consumption; creating value without destroying the Earth.
This new value system will allow technology to influence fashion for the better, making things like sustainability fashionable. “Fashion destroys. It is time to destroy fashion”, says Jarlgaard
What Will the Future of Fashion Look Like?
The emerging technologies currently on the tip of everyone's tongue and driving a host of start-ups have a place in the fashion world. Jarlgaard preaches of a fashion world where people work alongside AI to hack the creative process, to sculpt new ideas while remodeling the current supply chain system put into place.
However, it goes beyond just AI. Technology will force brands to be accountable, offering more transparency and insight into the ways that your brands create the clothing you make every day.
Imagine wearing a sweater and knowing where the fabric was sourced, how the clothing was made, what animals were used, and even who created your clothing. Jarlgaard proposes an almost “nutritional value sticker” for our clothing, giving us insight into how our clothes are made, and with her own brand, she has done exactly that.
Jarlgaard has used blockchain technology to open up her supply chain to the public, logging all the materials and steps used to create one of her jumpers for customers.
To the Future
During her TNW presentation, Jarlgaard has proposed more research in more sustainable fabrics, while utilizing nature’s tremendous ability to design to create interesting forms of clothing.
The new fashion world order will include a healthy mix of activism, technological initiative experiences, tailored made 3D printing, creative diversity, and an overall more accountable system.
Who is Martine Jarlgaard?
Dubbed as a technological pioneer by Forbes, Jarlgaard uses sustainability, art, and fashion to disrupt the fashion industry.
Martine has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, Vogue, on BBC News and has been invited to give talks as an industry expert and thought leader at the Inter-American Development Bank, Yale University, Singularity University, British Fashion Council’s Fashion Forum 2018, China Fashion Forum, Stockholm Fashion Tech Conference and Human Rights Foundation just to name a few.
Interesting Engineering will be following Amsterdam’s TNW.