Words by Emma Sandham
With London Tech Week coming to a close, I was lucky enough to attend a fashion and technology event hosted by the Women of Wearables on Monday. Where technology is certainly something I’m interested in, mixing this with fashion gives the ultimate combo for me.
The event had six amazing speakers who presented their recent ‘FashTech’ projects, followed by a panel session to discuss the industry, where it’s going in 2017 and what to expect in the future.
Although I was expecting them to discuss some visions for the future of fashtech, ideas and concepts, I was really surprised to learn how much is already out there in the market. From haptic yoga pants to the ‘store of the future’, the fashion tech industry is covering all areas.
So here are a few of the highlights hitting the market, that I think everyone should know about…
Adidas X Parley
Although this first example isn’t necessarily ‘techy’, the first speaker, Kristina Dimitrova, founder of Interlaced, spoke passionately about the impact of the fashion industry on the environment. Did you know that the clothing industry is actually the second largest polluter in the world, after the oil industry? No, neither did I.
With plastics making up almost 80% of the ocean debris across the world, popular sport brand, Adidas and Parley Collection launched a line of trainers and ladies’ swimwear made purely from recycled plastic bottles and other debris salvaged from the sea.
Whilst this is only a small step towards fixing a global problem, it was great to see a brand putting themselves out there and taking responsibility for some of the industry’s waste.
Fashion technology studio Wearable X, have launched Nadi X – the activated yoga apparel with embedded technology.
The pants give feedback through haptic tech to guide the wearer towards more accurate yoga poses without the need for an instructor. Nadi X aims to identify the pose the wearer is trying to create and provides feedback through vibrations, drawing attention to focal muscle points, cool right?
Even better that the whole thing is controlled through an iPhone app with 30 different poses and yoga playlists to try out. These pants weigh-in at a pricey £300, so they are definitely an investment (but still very cool).
Maase: the first ever companion shawl
The final product that caught my attention was a project that is soon to be rolled out by creator, and speaker at the event, Nancy Boehm. Her concept was to create a scarf/shawl that incorporates wireless technology to give the wearer of the shawl a new experience.
Aimed at families, couples and patients undergoing treatment, living in long distance relationships, the shawl aims to create a ‘tangible exchange of emotions over a distance.’
Using lights and vibrations, friends and families of the user can take snapshots of their day through the relevant app (sounds they hear, emotions they are feeling, music and pictures) and transfer these feelings to the shawl, creating an immersive experience for the user.
The heartwarming idea is ideal for elderly relatives who can no longer live at home and for patients in hospital whose families can’t see them every day – in an age of digital relationships, this concept brings together loved ones in a new way.
While there were so many other amazing projects at the event, the Women of Wearables itself is supporting a fast-paced, emerging industry and I’d urge everyone to check what they have planned for the ‘FashTech’ industry: http://www.womenofwearables.com/