Is the advancement of technology positive or negative for the fashion industry?
Technology is a prevailing element over the majority of aspects of modern living. The advancement of modern technology over the last few decades has made a significant impact to the lives of millions. It has affected every industry; the majority of the population use it daily and it has changed the way the world operates. The fashion industry has been no exception. It has revolutionised the way we shop and consume products and how we share our experience with others. Smartphones, 3D scanning and easily consumed platforms have all helped the development of the industry. The significance of the technological advancements utilised by the fashion industry is unquestionable. Yet whilst the advancements have helped the success of the industry, there are specific areas that must be considered alongside this.
The accessibility of fashion through technology.
The rise of this technological revolution has greatly impacted the accessibility of fashion, with customers being able to access products in a few clicks. Thousands of clothing sites can be browsed with ease and from the comfort of the home. Some sites offer next day delivery which is quick, easy, and accessible. It is now easier than ever to browse and shop what the fashion industry has to offer. This ease is popular and brings profit, as the majority people want services that inconvenience them as little as possible. This keeps the fashion industry building momentum, and it shows no sign of stopping.
On demand fashion
This new form of on demand fashion is a product of technology and fashion working hand in hand. However one issue that has arisen from this which divides opinions is the advancement of fast fashion. The term “fast fashion” refers to cheap, trendy clothing that, due to the low price, is easily bought and eventually discarded. With the popularity and easy access of technology and social media, came this theme of quick trends. Simply, in today’s digital society trends do not tend to last long. These trends change on a fast-paced basis and public interest moves on. In response to this, many items, trends, and styles become popular and often quickly lose their traction. Fast fashion caters well to this. The items are affordable and if interest is lost quickly it does not cause much financial impact.
Overall, clothes have become cheaper, trend cycles have begun to speed up, and alongside this, shopping is now a more common hobby.
Throw away culture
This attitude of easily discarded clothing has a significant environmental impact. In 2019, Oxfam reported “Fast fashion produces more carbon emissions per minute than driving a car around the world six times”. They also stated that “Each week 11 million garments end up in landfill in the UK.” Statistics like these show the impact this attitude can have on the environmental and ethical elements of the fashion industry.
The issue of price – good or bad?
When it comes to discussing price, there is the significant issue of price gaps. For many, fast fashion is a convenient, if not essential, way of buying affordable clothes. Some cannot afford brand prices and fast digital fashion allows them to also express themselves through clothing, without a limit brought by expensive prices. Overall, it seems that fast fashion can be subjective, and if kept to a minimum alongside second hand shopping, this issue could potentially improve.
High street impact
With the digital fashion phenomenon showing no sign of stopping there is an element of the fashion industry that remains in place but is often surpassed by its digital counterpart, the high street. There has been a slow but significant decline in popularity in the footfall on various high streets. In York, for example, multiple shops have closed in the last year due to this decline. With the ease of online clothing services and a generation of young consumers who grew up using technology, mobile shopping has had an impact. This is not to say the high street is ill-fated. There is a surplus of customers who still enjoy the in store experience. Whether it be to browse or try clothes on, the high street is still a relevant part of the industry.
The advancement of technology has benefited many aspects of everyday life and the fashion industry is utilising this. It undoubtedly brings a simplicity to shopping which appeals to many. Recent developments even allow the customer to try on outfits digitally and suggests sizes based on the users measurements. Like the majority of things, there are positive and negative consequences. As technology and fashion continue to develop alongside each other, it is clear there will be many interesting advancements to follow.