As the new year starts, we started comprising the three topics that fashion tech experts will need to focus on for 2019. In the next year, there will be a continued focus on sustainability, preparation efforts for 5G will start to unfold and cybersecurity for wearables will become more important and a focus for many Internet of thing (IoT) companies.
Fashion brands are focusing more and more on sustainability as consumers place greater importance on the issue and align their wallets with their moral views. Elle UK dedicated their entire September issue to sustainability. While the average advertisements in the sustainability issue were not from brands specifically dedicated to the topic at hand, the September issue drove conversations on the issue.
One fashion brand, Stella McCartney, is attacking the issue head-on by embracing the circular economy and moving beyond the typical definition of sustainability. This fashion brand is tackling sustainability not only in an environmental context but also focusing on social sustainability.
A circular economy is designed to remove and eliminate as much waste and energy as possible from the lifecycle of products. This varies from the linear economy where any waste is typically disposed of and exists as the status quo for much of the fashion industry. By stepping into this circular economy, Stella McCartney has changed the way it consumes metals and is now “investing in low-impact, recycled or recyclable metals.” The company has also started working with recycled nylon and polyester, regenerated cashmere, viscose from sustainably managed forests, and organic cotton.
To achieve this circular economy we will rely on technology to develop new ways to utilize recycled materials and to track the lifecycle of garments and materials.
Preparation for 5G
Mobile companies are already preparing to unleash 5G in 2020 but what impact will that have on consumers? The Internet of Things (IoT) will enhance significantly due to the new 5G upgrade. This will improve the connections between your favorite devices and reduce latency — including connections between smart cars and smart clothing.
Beyond better internet speed and greater bandwidth, there will be much lower latency. For fashion companies, this could lead to a much greater retail shopping experience for consumers by providing in-store recommendations and personalization to consumers as they are shopping or trying clothes on.
Read more about what changes 5G will have in store for devices.
Cybersecurity for Wearable Devices
While the number of IoT devices has greatly expanded, it is time to take a greater look at the security of these devices and what information is being tracked by them. ResearchGate estimates that 24 billion devices will be connected by 2020 but that also means that 24 billion devices will be exposed to hacking by 2020.
There are many different ways in which wearable devices could have a big impact on the fashion tech and healthcare industry. But the overall success of wearable devices will be due to whether we can ensure those devices are properly secured. These devices tend to have limited computing power so having a strong security system can prove to be tricky for many device makers.
While there will be many other opportunities and focuses for fashion tech in 2019, we can guarantee that these will become a focus for many companies.