20 March 2020

Tech Perspective #5: Tech is the Future of Fashion


We’re in the business of looking good. Who, you might ask? Well, anybody willing to make an impression on their peers. I’m, of course talking about fashion.

  • Fashion – a colossally profitable, and wasteful industry
  • Industry 4.0 technologies can ‘hack’ the fast-fashion model
  • The circular economy saves resources, and profit – with SCM and BI tools

But as we wear something, we too are signalling to the world that we endorse it. By opting for a Western brand, who’s PR efforts highlight their environmental merits, we declare our approval for them. By sporting a questionably reputed garment, your perceived indifference may torpedo your intended benefits.

It’s a profitable industry, valued at 2.4 trillion USD. Yet, it is one of the most wasteful. The fast fashion, Runway-to-Retail mode is to blame. The bullwhip effect it has on suppliers results in mass inventories. Unsold garments accumulate cost and adversely affect our environment.

That includes landfills to irritants seeping into our waterways. The amount of clothing left unsold following the on-season by Swedish retailer H&M was worth 4bn USD alone in 2018.

New Top Model?

What if we could ‘hack’ the fast fashion model? What if it were possible to operate with the same level of responsiveness to market demand? Could we also predict a slowdown and save a business?

Industry 4.0 is a term increasingly thrown around. But with all the glitz and glamour of Machine Learning, Analytics and Cyber-physical systems – what would this tech mean for you?

Well, firstly, we can expect a slowdown in resource consumption. Eco-minded policies now encourage a greener business plan. But the circular economy is more than an aesthetically, and neurotically pleasing graphic representation. There are tangible benefits to your business as well.

By opting for Supply Chain management software, you get a front-row view of best practices or avoidable mistakes made by your business. Business Intelligence tools act akin to a yellow highlighter – distinguishing the pitfalls of your production process and advertising your claims to fame.

The supply chain service, Sourcemap lays out your supply chain in plain English and validates desired raw materials in a social-media-like setting.

Conserve Resources and Your Returns

What businesses are increasingly understanding is that environmental waste equals to resource waste. Vital natural assets no-longer become absorbed and forgotten by an indifferent universe. Instead, the effects are closer to your balance sheet.

Perhaps your use of textiles has taken your balance sheet hostage? Or your insistence on landfill has unavoidably resulted in legal infraction? Any such missteps are accountable today and will harm your bottom line – directly or indirectly.

Therefore, a transparent supply chain is the only way out for many such businesses. Dirty supply chains will no-longer grease your pockets. Instead, they’ll burn holes in them.

Many phrases continue to baffle the boardrooms and fluff the front pages. Bitcoin, Blockchain, Dot-com Bubble. I’ll explain these terms another time. But in a nutshell, any such term outlining ‘4.0’, be it Industry, Proptech, Labtech, Commerce – the numerical moniker denotes ‘knowledge’. You know, the kind meaning ‘power’. Insight into your processes brings competitive advantage.

Opportunities to Your Business: Irons’ Still Hot – Strike Now

Innovation is your way out of the mould. Fast fashion is here to stay, but those on the cusp of efficiency, are even dialling up a notch. Automated manufacturing taps into the insights of Business Intelligence tools to understand the market and operate precisely in line with machine-predicted demand.

Fashion retailers may be a glamourous front industry. But they aren’t the only ones to benefit from automation. Any sector is likely to capitalise on the benefits of the circular economy. All it takes is a little insight, and an intelligent process to go along with it.

Read more stories on tech and business on our blog

Marcin Bartoszuk
Chief Operating Officer

With Microsoft technologies related since 2005. He graduated from the Computer Science Faculty of the Bialystok University of Technology where he was the leader of the .NET Group and the Microsoft Student Partner. Four times finalist of the national stage of the Imagine Cup competition, and later the mentor and the jury member of the contest. Co-founder of the Bialystok .NET Group. He lectured .NET development at the Bialystok University of Technology. Microsoft MVP in the Client Application Development category in 2008-2010, when he actively participated in the IT community. Constant new technology enthusiast and IT consultant.