Flexibly fashionable – a new generation of clothing
Delving into the world of fashion, some of the industry’s most exciting developments are currently happening far away from the runways of London, Milan and Paris. A new age of fashion technology, or ‘FashTech’, is approaching with innovative lab-based work involving the use of bacteria to dye clothing, new types of sustainable materials and even engineers integrating technology into the fabrics themselves, to create the clothes of the future.
This market is wide open for new and exciting tech to be tried and tested, and with the flexible nature of e-paper technology, here’s a few examples of how we think EPDs could benefit a new generation of clothing.
Made for you: personalised fashion
Tailor made fashion is becoming increasingly popular with luxury and high-street brands. From monogramming accessories to customising designs – it gives products an edge for consumers. Companies like POPpacks are utilising technology in its designs to achieve full personalisation, using EPDs.
Fitted with a large e-paper display, POPpacks offer a backpack that can display any image chosen by the user, through an iPhone app. By using e-paper for this, the backpack remains flexible and comfortable, whilst being daylight readable when used indoors and outdoors. The display is low power, showing different personalised images for months without needing to recharge. The same idea could be used in anything from caps to t-shirts, displaying any image the consumer chooses, personalising accessories for different occasions.
In recent ‘fashtech’ news, a new ‘smart jacket’ hit the market thanks to a collaboration from Google and Levis. The design has a small ‘tag’ built into the sleeve, connected to an associated mobile app. The sleeve fabric contains capacitive fibres that allows you to swipe and tap the sleeve like a touchscreen, triggering different commands to your mobile.
Whilst this is a great step forward in the fashtech industry, the use of e-paper displays could also be integrated into outwear, such as jackets, to build on designs such as Levis’ even further.
By fitting a coat sleeve with a small e-paper display, connected to an iPhone app or accompanying wearable device, the coat could display anything to the user – from incoming calls to messages and maps to traffic alerts. Using e-paper for this would mean that the display would not need charged as often as a typical wearable, whilst being flexible to move with the rest of the garment and be day-light readable when out and about. Particularly useful for commuting, users would have all the information they needed right on the sleeve of their coat.
The fashion technology market is maturing slowly in terms of products hitting the market and being available to buy, but we see 2018 as a pivotal year. There is a great opportunity for new and innovative designs to dominate the open market, by modernising existing fashion designs with the integration of wearables and flexible technology. We want designers to see our technology as a blank canvas with enormous creative potential.