HOW THE INTERNET OF CLOTHES CHALLENGES OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH FASHION AND CONSUMPTION

HOW THE INTERNET OF CLOTHES CHALLENGES OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH FASHION AND CONSUMPTION

Be honest – how many of all clothes you own do you were regularly? There’s a fair chance you have at least one item of clothing in your wardrobe that you haven’t even worn once. As a society, we own four times as many clothes as we did 20 years ago, but regularly only wear about 20% of them. A new project from academics from Birmingham City University is hoping to change that. Senior Future Media lecturer Mark Brill and his team are working on a concept of a connected wardrobe that addresses the problem of unworn clothes by reminding you to wear them or to give them away to charity. The Internet of Clothes sees garments tagged using washable contactless technology, known as radio-frequency identification (RFID). The idea is that the clothes will monitor the frequency of wear and if they are not used for a certain time period, will notify their user to either wear them or think about giving them away to charity. Talking about the project, Brill explained that the connected wardrobe is“a practical, engaging concept encouraging people to think about their clothing consumption.”He hopes that it will result in more ethical fashion consumption.“Perhaps we can even move away from the idea of ‘ownership’ of clothing, to simply using them as long as we need them. When we’ve worn them enough, the items will pass themselves on to their next keeper to wear,” says Brill. Overconsumption of clothing is a problem for both the environment and exploitation of those who produce them. Clothing production is highly damaging to the environment, from the petrochemicals used in...
EVENT REPORT | DIGITAL FASHION FORUM

EVENT REPORT | DIGITAL FASHION FORUM

To say September kept us busy will be an understatement. Straight after tons of catwalk shows, presentations and exhibitions at London Fashion Week, we headed to sunny Athens to take part in the first Digital Fashion Forum, organized by Fashion Daily. The conference is the only event for fashion and retail professionals in the Greek market that addresses the technological developments changing the industry and highlights the new opportunities presented by the rise of digital. Our founder, Kristina Dimitrova was one of three international speakers, alongside with Brian McBride (Chairman, ASOS) and Sue Seel (Lecturer, London College of Fashion). We had a fabulous day mingling with attendees, fellow speakers and exhibitors at DFF. For those who couldn’t join us in person, we’ve compiled some key takeaways from the day. ON CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT While in the US and UK (as well as most of Western Europe) the fashion blogging industry is quite saturated, in Greece the notion of blogging is just starting to get tracktion. A panel including Maritzina Kalognoma (Ogilvy Group), Galatea Laskaraki (Marie Claire), Zeta A.Tsakoumis (Journalist & Blooger), Tonia Fousek (Athens Xclusive Designers Week) among others, addressed the opportunities of working with influencers for publishers and brands. “Blogging doesn’t mean that magazines will become irrelevant,” agreed the panel. “Blogs represent just another channel of communication and engagement.” Brand consultant and academic Sue Seel touched upon on the power of bloggers and hinted how brands can have just as personal interaction with consumers. ‘Make customers your heroes,’ she said referring to the fact that 55% of people share their purchases on social media. ‘Use that to engage with...
SEE BENJAMIN JOHN HALL’S HI-TECH SHOE COLLECTION IN LONDON

SEE BENJAMIN JOHN HALL’S HI-TECH SHOE COLLECTION IN LONDON

Avant-garde international award winning footwear designer Benjamin John Hall is bringing back his newest work to London. Laboratory 12 is an experimental seven-piece collection of highly functional footwear involving 3-D printed components and embedded technology combined with artisanal shoemaking. With the help of his collaborators, Nanda Khaorapapong, Richard Beckett and Martyn Carter, from the fields of wearable computing, material science and 3-D printing, the shoes are operated wirelessly from afar to perform tasks such as detecting radiation, recording sound, releasing a gas and even remote ignition. The technology is covert and skilfully embedded inside each of the shoe’s designs, resulting in a complex yet seamless marriage of hand-made shoemaking and advanced technologies. How far should or would our government go to secure its best interests? Laboratory 12 takes its name from the secret poison laboratory of the KGB and was inspired primarily by the high profile assassination of Alexander Livinenko, who in 2006 was poisoned with the radioactive material Polonium. This led to the question: How far should or would our government go to secure its best interests? ‘We did deeper analysis of covert operational techniques used by security services to manipulate and control certain individuals. Many of the shoes were inspired by or reference these techniques,’ shared with us Hall. Each of the seven pairs of shoes highlights a specific notion or concept unearthed through extensive research into documented tactics used by various security agencies worldwide. For example, the Zersetzung platform sandals house a mechanism that can be activated by sending a text message to a defined phone number: the letter ‘x’ sets off an atomiser emanating a...
COCOON NETWORKS LAUNCHES IN LONDON TO CONNECT THE CHINESE AND UK STARTUP ECOSYSTEM

COCOON NETWORKS LAUNCHES IN LONDON TO CONNECT THE CHINESE AND UK STARTUP ECOSYSTEM

In recent years, China has made rapid advances in science and technology, thus becoming a world leader in some areas of high-tech manufacturing, commercial applications, telecommunications, robotics and biotechnology. When it comes to fashion and beauty industries, the country is perhaps best known for Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce company. So, it’s not surprising to see why both established companies and startups have set their eyes on the Chinese market. Here’s where Cocoon Networks come in. Cocoon Networks is Europe’s first Chinese capital-backed, international, startup ecosystem. Leveraging a full suite of support spanning: venture capital investment, business accelerators, spaces, and IP management, the company is supporting ambitious entrepreneurs and ideas to grow in a nurturing environment, thus helping them expand globally. The company is dedicated to bridge the China and European start-up communities. We’re excited to hear that Cocoon Networks is opening its first London location in December 2016. The stunning physical space will be one of the largest and the most comprehensive innovations centres across Europe. In addition to various co-working options, Cocoon Networks London will offer the perfect work and life balance environment, with entertaining area, roof bar, gym, treatment rooms, exhibition areas, exclusive events and much more. With the emerging opportunities of international collaborations amongst creative industries, Cocoon Networks London will include a creative hub for crazy ideas and ambitious minds to spread internationally, especially to the east. At the creative hub, the innovation centre will provide full-featured facilities and services to help passionate creators establish brands, launch products, expand connections and spread businesses from Cocoon to the world. Cocoon Networks is inviting innovative startups and businesses...
HOW TOPSHOP INJECTS TECH TO LEAD THE WAY IN HIGHSTREET RETAIL

HOW TOPSHOP INJECTS TECH TO LEAD THE WAY IN HIGHSTREET RETAIL

London Fashion Week is just around the corner and, if NYFW was anything to go by, this season’s fashion extravaganza will bring much more change than new prints and colour palettes. Tech has been increasingly present in headlines each fashion month and as the capital of both (fashion and tech), we expect London Fashion Week to have a trick or two up its sleeve. One of most prominent players in this interdisciplinary field is highstreet retailer Topshop. Fancy bodycon dresses and bleached denim shirts aside, the clothing giant is investing in some serious tech innovation. In 2014, when both the public and the industry were trying to get their head around virtual reality, Topshop was transporting consumers from its stores to the front row with Oculus Rift. Last year, the retailer partnered with Barclaycard for a line of stylish accessories such as phone cases, stickers and bracelets, which incorporated Barclaycard’s contactless payment technology and let users shop seamlessly in more than 300,000 locations across the UK. Later this year, a second, more luxurious line of the Topshop x bPay collection was unveiled. During the summer, the clothing giant also launched its first Top Pitch competition, encouraging designers and technologists to join its bootcamp programme and receive intensive coaching on how to bring their product to market as well as the chance to pitch to Topshop. The retailer recently announced the winner of the competition, Loomia (formerly The Crated) – a company focused on e-textiles and developing enabling technologies. The two parties will now work together on designing a prototype for a heated garment. Top Pitch makes the future of smart...