Biocouture Ltd, photo © The Next Black, AEG.
Tuesday, February 3rd, I had the opportunity to attend a screening of “The Next Black” at the Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator (BF+DA). The film – created by Electrolux AEG, the appliance manufacturing company – was described as “a film about the Future of Clothing” and was part of a pre-fashion week exhibit at the BF+DA called “Cloud Couture: The Intimate Connection Between Fashion and Technology.”
Studio XO, photo © The Next Black, AEG.
Since this was right up my alley (wearable technology!), I was very excited about both the movie and exhibit. The film was just under an hour long and examined several companies and design groups including Adidas, Patagonia, Studio XO, Biocouture, and Yeh Group. While Adidas is well known for fitness tracking and Patagonia for their quality-over-quantity business approach, the other three companies were smaller, more unusual, and fixated on solving particular problems. Studio XO is a design firm based in London focusing on wearable technology and statement garments; Biocouture describes themselves as “the world’s first biocreative design consultancy,” researching new ways to grow fabric; the Yeh Group has pioneered a way to dye fabric without water – using fluid carbon dioxide.
Yeh Group, photo © The Next Black, AEG.
Of them all, the Yeh Group’s DryDye technology seemed the most practical currently. From that perspective, I thought it would have also been interesting to see any research being conducted about sensing clothing breakdown and how to more sensibly care for our clothing as consumers. Smart sensors embedded in fabric that give feedback on tensile strength after washing and detect problem areas or loose buttons would give even more control about how we treat our clothes. I would love for my clothing to be able to notify me when I am washing it incorrectly, too often, not often enough, or when the piece of clothing is starting to break down.
Sources: The Next Black, AEG Electrolux
Stay tuned for more about the exhibit and the closing panel…