9 May 2006

The future of clothes

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The Future of Clothes
Clothes are a conundrum for the futurist, writes futurist Joseph Coates in an article, published last year in the international journal Technological Forecasting & Social Change.

They are, he says, nearly universally worn and a worldwide industry spends tons of money to present the new, must-have stuff to would-be customers. And yet, there have been no significant studies of the future of clothing.

In the article, Coates reflects on both how our current fashions came to be, and where they are headed, and emphasises that social trends, marketing, status, politics, religion, globalization, climate, technical innovation (zippers, synthetic fabrics, color-fast dyes) and even health concerns are drivers of fashion change, and that new factors such as the Internet, mass customisation and global warming will also play a role in what we’ll be wearing tomorrow.

He concludes that over the next generation, our clothes will be more comfortable, better fitting, and easier to clean or discard. They will also guard our health and safety, respond to the environment, improve our work and recreation, and communicate with people and things automatically or at the wearer’s discretion.

Download article (pdf, 160 kb, 8 pages)

(via FutureWire)

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