Future Fashion Could Make Us Superheroes

From letting us change our look on the fly to monitoring our wellbeing and boosting our abilities, tomorrow’s fashion will enhance far more than our looks. It might even give us super powers.

Rapidly advancing technologies will help fashion quell troubled supply chains and win back rebellious customers.

Saving the world today

Detailed tracking of materials and components from sourcing through disposal is already helping the fashion industry maximize value and minimize waste by:

  1. Recapturing old materials. Fashion companies are respinning, redying, or reknitting fibers from recycled clothing into new items.
  2. Repurposing unneeded items. Pieces from unsold clothing are being used to create new items.
  3. Reselling clothing. Retailers and manufacturers are working together to create a system to buy back clothing that’s slightly worn or unworn for cash or credit toward new purchases.
  4. Resharing through subscriptions. Brands are creating business models that let people wear items a few times before returning them for something else.

Trying on a new suit

Rapidly advancing technologies will help fashion quell troubled supply chains and win back rebellious customers who would rather follow the Instagram influencers of the moment than wait for the design houses to dictate what they should wear. Some of these powers will include:

  1. Predicting the future. Predictive artificial intelligence (AI) will help manufacturers spot color, pattern, material, and design trends and make faster, more accurate predictions about what customers will want next.
  2. Finding the super fit. Robots, 3D printers, and virtual reality/augmented reality will meet consumer demand for more customization and personalization, from custom-tailored clothes created on demand to trying things on virtually.
  3. Fighting fakery. Specialized platforms, blockchain, RFID, and other technologies will help prevent counterfeiting by tracking and verifying products and components.
  4. Seeing through walls. Greater supply chain transparency will make the industry more efficient, safer, and more ethical at every stage, from material sourcing through manufacturing to the point of sale.

Fashion tech: from epic to everyday

Innovations in clothing technology will support the industry’s future growth. Tomorrow’s fashion trends will be super at:

  1. Helping us cope. Outfits will adapt to changes in weather and mood in equal measure.
  2. Protecting against threats. “Smart fabric” will protect us from bacteria, surveillance, and environmental threats such as pollution and radiation.
  3. Knowing all. Clothing and accessories will collect data about our activities without requiring bulky electronics—and they will power themselves by generating energy from our movements.
  4. Responding to a whim. We may even update our wardrobes by buying digital upgrades whenever we want a new color or pattern or in response to the day’s forecast.

What we think of today as superhero suits—fashion that makes us faster, stronger, smarter, and safer—will be tomorrow’s everyday apparel.

Learn more about fashion super powers

Read “Fashion: The Future Interface Between Mind, Body, and Planet.”