April 4, 2020 The fashion industry usually stands at the forefront of change. When the world begins to shift, it adapts—constantly evolving to keep up with consumer trends and new styles. Today, the industry as a whole is changing. It’s not just about keeping up with the latest buzz and bringing the best to the seasons, it’s about staying on top of e-commerce, integrating technology, and reducing our carbon footprint. But what’s changing the industry, exactly? #1 Monetizing Brand Content Traditional marketing tactics are no longer sustainable. Today, fashion brands need to keep their consumers engaged across various media channels (looking at you specifically, social media). The challenge doesn’t just involve creating engaging content, but monetizing it. No longer can fashion companies lean on billboards and traditional campaigns, now they must rely on short-form content to guide their consumer to a platform, where they’ll have an immersive experience and (hopefully) make a transaction. Thus, fashion companies are using companies like Smartzer to enhance the consumer experience, create engaging content, and curate data to help brands identify their video ROI. #2 Virtual and Augmented Reality Marrying the physical and the digital is the great mission of virtual reality. When it comes to a digital storefront, what if the fashion industry could replicate what we experience in a brick-and-mortar store? In a way, if this becomes a ubiquitous practice across the industry, the average consumer can shop in Italy, France, London, and anywhere in the world—all from the comfort of their home. Thus, companies like OBSESS and AVAMETRIC are currently trying to seize the opportunity and bring VR to fashion. #3 Fitting Form, Not Style Today, many fashion companies are working to shift their focus to form. This means they’re putting the body first, working to create clothing that is tailored to the natural physique, prioritizing comfort above anything else. For instance, companies like Lulalu have designed bras for petite bodies, or women who would’ve otherwise had a difficult time finding a bra that fits (least alone one that’s comfortable). From 32A bras to 38AAA, they’re working to ensure that they’re staying true to form. This is a phenomenon sparking across every corner of the industry. #4 Sustainability, A New Wave of Manufacturing Being that the fashion industry is consistently lampooned for their carbon footprint and wasteful practices, many companies are working to implement sustainability. Amour Vert, for instance, makes clothing in smaller batches in order to avoid any unnecessary waste. They have direct partnerships with mills and ensure that their garments are made using sustainable fabrics and non-toxic chemicals (specifically dyes). From their Ailish Tee, to their Cara Tee, all of their clothes are made via sustainable practices. And guess what? For every item they sell, they plant a tree. #5 Cultural Standards, A Renaissance Today, consumers are looking to invest companies that mirror their own value system. It’s not just about brands of stature, it’s about how these brands operate and treat the world we live in. The scrutiny that fashion brands are experiencing isn’t just from eco-conscious experts and scientists, it’s from the very people that would otherwise be purchasing their products. This is forcing even the bigger brands to adapt (and to do so carefully). If they don’t explicitly prove that their efforts are making a difference, consumers will see through it. #6 Clothing Recycle Platforms Did you know that almost all household textiles can be recycled? Companies like H&M are now taking in all kinds of clothes that can be reused, then offering a discount on their own products for those that opt in. Additionally, other brands are encouraging this practice across the industry as a whole. For instance, Green City Recycler is diverting textiles, clothing, and other fabrics that can be recycled from the landfill. It’s platforms like these that are streamlining this process and making it easier for the modern consumer to recycle their clothes. A Changing Industry Truth be told, the fashion industry is probably going to change dramatically in the next few years. From implementing new technology, focusing on digital content, enforcing sustainable practices, choosing form over aesthetic, and recycling old clothes, all of these pivots are signs of progress. Today, it’s not just about the greatest fashion, it’s about how that very fashion is produced.