Fashion Industry Still Awaits Its ‘Uber’ – Where’s The Disruptive Innovation? I hear every day about another new invention that is ‘for sure’ going to disrupt the fashion landscape. In most cases, it is either a new innovative technology such as graphene-based textiles, able to gather the wearer’s body electricity, new 3D printing techniques that output cotton-like materials, immersive e-commerce platforms running on augmented and mixed reality, or some sort of style-matching artificial intelligence powered fashion assistant apps.
The truth is, disruptive innovation starts when a product, a market, or an industry is replaced. Disruption is by definition destructive. To change for the better, it has to disrupt before it creates. Disruptive innovation has to disrupt jobs, businesses, industries. See the disruption caused by Uber and Airbnb, for example. Many jobs were lost, but many more jobs were created.
DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION – THE LANDSCAPE IS RIPE
For that, while pushing for market changes, technological innovation alone does not have the power to disrupt. Any technology needs people. It needs consumers, to adopt and use it en-masse. To date, all technological innovations in the fashion industry did not disrupt but instead enhanced it. To disrupt the fashion industry, we need products, markets, and services unseen before.
The global fashion market is a multi-trillion business with massive potential for disruption. The fast adoption of sustainable, innovative materials, the use of augmented reality and artificial intelligence in fashion designs, style predictions, and retail, shows that the landscape is ripe for disruptive innovation.
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