Rapid technological development has lead us into an age of information and we’re slowly shifting into an era of analysis and specificity. Fashion too is changing quicker than ever and many brands are guided by the principle “better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission.”
However, consumers still demand brands to keep their higher standards and they want to know everything, from how, when and where their clothing was made to what material was used and what the carbon footprint was. This is where modern fashion industry intersects with science and technology and the way to survive in future is only through collaboration. Careers in fashion will also be affected by these changes and here’s how.
Going into the field of fashion technology can lead you to the position of a data scientist and into the world of dynamic customer service. In addition to an increasing number of online personal stylists, data scientists are also in high demand mostly by e-commerce companies. Even with all the uproar about personal data tracking, online customers still love a personalized shopping experience. Naturally, this can easily lead to overconsumption but data scientists know how to elevate slow fashion to the level of the mainstream conversation.
Younger generations of customers also want an interactive experience and convenience. Therefore, e-commerce websites are making it easier to search for information on sustainability, offer aid in discovering your personal style and a wide range of customizable options.
Going by what the people behind a current master’s degree in fashion design and business teach, having a career in the fashion industry means being knowledgeable and skilled in many different areas. Being familiar with contemporary aesthetics, textile merchandising, collection design and trend analysis is crucial, but what is also a must is having a deeper understanding of fashion communication, art direction, marketing, presentation and visual merchandising.
Sustainable material production
Sustainable material production will give you the opportunity to work as a bioengineer, textile chemist or an agricultural consultant. As more and more customers are becoming familiar with fashion’s harmful effects on the environment, there’s a greater need for more sustainable production. The production of synthetic materials such as nylon, polyester and rayon produces a lot of pollution, specifically microplastics that is released into waterways when washed.
Therefore, fashion companies need the assistance and expertise of bioengineers and textile chemists to produce more sustainable materials and eco-friendly alternatives. Some companies are trying to reduce textile waste and pollution by recycling or upcycling already existing materials. The job of textile chemists here is to devise a recycling system that will break down used clothing items and produce a new fibre that can be used in the production of new garments.
In this way, GHG emissions are avoided but it can only happen if designers collaborate with textile recycling systems and design clothes with sustainability in mind. This means that fashion designers will have to be well-educated about circular design and zero-waste practices to be able to keep up with the ever-changing trends and the industry.
Simultaneously, some fashion brands are investing in regenerative farming. Its main advantage is that it helps the revival of biodiversity in the US but it also incorporates growing sustainable crops like hemp, organic cotton and wool into fashion. Many organisations believe that bringing production processes from the global level to the local will considerably reduce the fashion industry’s carbon footprint. It’s also expected that it will aid in job creation within local communities, meaning jobs like regenerative farmers, agricultural experts, shepherdesses, and field researchers.
Fashion supply chain
The fashion supply is an important part of the fashion industry and offers jobs such as personal stylist, authentication expert and supply chain manager. However, today’s fashion supply chains are faulty and full of cases of unfair treatment of both the employees and the planet. The way things are now won’t function in the future. Customers are no longer naïve and they demand transparency from fashion brands, whether small or big.
As fashion moves forward into the new decade, companies have to hire supply chain managers who are capable, skilled and dedicated to tracing those chains, visiting the factories and keeping a close relationship with all the parties involved in the fashion production. These connections combined with the latest technology will be necessary to bring the traditional techniques into the future in both resale and rental companies.
Throughout the process, sustainability managers assume a crucial role of monitoring the brand’s environmental impact and make necessary decisions such as replacing plastic packaging or even changing the way the entire company operates. As we move towards the future, companies will be responsible for managing its supply chains in a way that will be beneficial to individual, communities and regions and not just a few people at the top.
Modern customers today are different and more knowledgeable than the ones from a few decades ago. They ask for a genuine connection with credible companies that care about them. The concept of sustainability has permeated every industry across the globe, fashion included and it’s pulled back its curtain so the only way to make progress is to be transparent.