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The Rise of E-Fashion: E-Fashion & E-Textiles

Technology in fashion takes on many forms. When we think of e-fashion, it’s natural for word association to bring us to think of e-commerce. However, E-fashion can also be used to describe the role that technology is playing in our clothing, fabrics, and accessories. Another layer in tech movements within fashion involves the exploration of fabric creation and the merging of wearable technology.

E-Fashion in the Industry

Oura Health is a Finnish health technology brand and company that emerged in 2013. The company’s CEOs crafted their first wearable jewelry Oura Ring in 2021. The minimally crafted ring is equipped with sensors that track sleep patterns, and aid you in creating better sleep patterns! Oura has also programmed the ring with elements that can help women track menstrual cycles, and help users with workouts via body analysis from a small piece of jewelry.

The Oura ring was one of the first elements of recent wearable technology that could be accepted into luxury and high fashion spaces with the help of its sleek look and minimal essence in style execution. Further introduction of the Oura ring into the luxury retail space was trailblazed by Gucci. Gucci designers partnered with Oura Ring creators and launched a limited edition collection in May 2022 and circled it back for a holiday season gifting drop later that same year.

E-Textiles & ‘Smart’ Components

Oxa Life is another fashion brand that is testing ‘smart’ components into their collection drops. E-textiles or ‘smart’ clothing defines wearable garments that have a level of technology integrated into their creation. Oxa Life has created a bra that can measure your breathing rate, monitor your heart rate, and many other health-related functional features. Another brand playing into this role is NADI X which has been creating yoga pants integrated with e-textiles as vibrational feedback that gives you a subtle reminder of where to really focus your stretching while doing yoga.

The fashion industry is constantly changing and pushing boundaries. Current concepts have been inspired by the need to reduce our carbon footprint and create more sustainable efforts in design and creation. One way we have been exploring this with regard to technology is that we have evolved into making fabrics within scientific laboratories. Sustainability has been a conversation amongst many disciplines, but it holds a deep and necessary space within the fashion industry, as we are in a society prone to constant consumption through the means of fast fashion. Below are some companies that are putting forth their strides to create biodegradable and compostable fabrics:

  1. Geneus Biotech: Committed to cutting down intensive animal farming, pollution, and waste using stem-cell research.
  2. Bolt Threads: Utilizes nature as a means of inspiration to create solutions in sustainable fashion via material creation.
  3. Modern Meadow: Sustainable house of biologists and material scientists that are honing in on bio-fabrications.

Although there is a recent deep resurgence of e-textiles and ways we filter through e-fashion, there have been many brands that have stepped into experimenting and debuting these concepts. Between 2016 and 2017, a few notable brands started making their mark in the fashion industry with lab-generated, rare, and next-level innovative fabrics such as:

  1. Nanamica: Known for their GORE-TEX-produced garments which are designed to be weatherproof for all performance levels.
  2. Acronym: A wide array of company-made fabrics that revolve around adapting to adverse weather (i.e. NanoSphere).
  3. Stella McCartney: Collections consistent with constant sustainable research; teamed up with Bolt Threads and created collaborations with their Microsilk.
  4. Stone Island: A brand focused on experimenting with different materials and their production (i.e. nylon monofilament garments).

E-fashion is a term used to describe the umbrella of technology that is recently and gradually taking over the industry of fashion. As we move forward, we will continue to see more brands and designers take part in this evolution. The fashion industry continues to be a space where we can incubate ideas, test our creative boundaries, and push for new and better collective efforts.

 

Written by: Uma Peña-Cabrera, Student Writer

Date: April 14, 2023

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