What does the future look like for fashion and tailoring? Designers are constantly coming up with innovative new ideas and manufacturing processes that will reshape the fashion industry as we know it, and it looks like shoppers are set to benefit. From sustainable initiatives to technological inventions, with the help of CT shirts, retailers of the morning suit, we reveal 4 IDEAL innovations influencing the future of fashion. 

COLOUR CHANGING FABRIC

Is ‘the dress’ gold? Or is it blue. It’s black! Nope, we’re not talking about that viral photo. Instead, we’re celebrating the not-too-distant end to buying multiple versions of the same suit in different colours. A thing of the past, indeed, as colour-changing fabrics are here to shake up the fashion industry. The research behind it is ever advancing and there are a few ongoing projects developing the idea, all harnessing different scientific skills to reach, ultimately, the same end results.

One of the projects, explored by scientists at the University of Michigan, is looking at incorporating tiny crystals that react differently depending on the wavelength of light. This affects the crystal’s formation and how they look in terms of colour to others. Other research, carried out in Montreal, is investigating how electricity from human movement can power electric fabric to change its colour. It appears that the research is a long way from reaching our high streets, but when it arrives, we’ll be tickled pink. Or blue. Or purple.

SUSTAINABLE FABRICS

There’s a huge problem with the fashion industry today, and it’s sustainability. Fast fashion, where trends come and go more swiftly than you can try them on, results in too many clothes ending up as landfill. And no, that’s not our nickname for TK Maxx.

However, efforts are being made to make fashion more sustainable. 2018’s Global Change Awards saw five ground breaking innovations who are striving to create a waste-free fashion industry. From reusable fabric, which when heated makes buttons and zips fall off so the fabric can easily be used again, to fabric made out of crop waste, the future of fashion will focus on the environmentally friendly.

SELF HEALING FABRICS

Have you ever spent loads on a piece of clothing, only to catch it on something sharp (a cartoonish, protruding nail perhaps) and damage the material?  The latest technology in textiles is addressing this issue through the development of self-healing fabric. It works by coating regular fabric in a special solution that, when ripped, is able to melt back together at low temperatures. Other research has founded that E. coli bacteria has self-replicating properties and this is being explored in order to discover if it can be used to knit broken fabric back together. Both promising developments for clumsy clothes fans.  

WEARABLE PAYEMENT GADGETS

Wearable payment gadgets are something that researchers and corporations are spending a lot of time exploring. For anything that quickens the act of capitalism deserves as much money thrown at it as possible. Of course, we already have the ability to pay contactless with a smart watch or phone but that’s just not enough. After all, who wants to move a limb to facilitate splurging? Not us.

MasterCard, have teamed up with fashion designer Adam Selman to explore the idea of inserting a microchip into clothing, perhaps in the sleeve of a jacket or into a bag — allowing you to pay for items with even less effort. Hackers everywhere take note.

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.