Tactile fashion meets futuristic technology
Fashion and technology might sound like an unlikely duo. Still, with technological advances growing stronger each day and consumers becoming increasingly more aware, the topic is at the forefront of the sustainable innovation agenda. Fashion has always been aspirational – it is a tactile, sensual experience to touch and wear clothes. Technology, on the other hand, is emotionless, often, cold and futuristic. In other words, fashion’s polar opposite. However, when combined, fashion and technology can yield innovative solutions—many of which, we couldn’t fathom. Smart materials that combine data analytics with technological innovations are paving the way for new possibilities within today’s fashion milieu, particularly when it comes to transparency and traceability in the supply chain.
Collaborative efforts driving digital innovation / 85 years with driving fashion innovation
Driving this new wave of digital innovation is Avery Dennison. Founded in 1935, the company, since its inception has managed to forge new innovative frontiers within materials science and manufacturing. At the heart of Avery Dennison’s work is its enduring commitment to people and the planet. From labels made from recycled yarn to supporting emerging designers who use a diverse portfolio of sustainable branding elements, the company continues to help apparel and footwear brands meet consumer demand for ethical, sustainable products. Today, it pushes and even inspires brands to work collaboratively across the entire value chain to address the environmental and social impacts of product packaging, labelling, retail branding and graphics materials, whilst actively driving digital innovation in both product and process-driven operations.
“Partnership and collaboration have made us a manufacturing leader in the apparel industry and are at the heart of our vision to accelerate sustainability and innovation throughout our supply chain,” said Mitch Butier, CEO, Avery Dennison. “In the wake of COVID-19, we are especially committed to partnering with others to accelerate transformative, industry-wide efforts to create a more sustainable apparel industry. Our RFID technology is opening the door for new possibilities around transparency, supply chain performance and other elements that are key to advancing stronger environmental, social, and corporate governance practices.”
The digital label as an enabler of circularity
On the circularity front, Avery Dennison provides support through digital engagement via the clothing labels it produces—demonstrating the inextricable link between fashion and technology. This process entails that each clothing garment is equipped with a digital ID label, making it possible to track it through its entire lifecycle, thereby enabling the much-needed transparency and traceability craved by consumers and brands alike. Today, a staggering 73 % of the world’s clothing ends up in landfills. Through digital labelling, there is now the possibility of increasing recyclability so products can extend their shelf life. This so-called new lease on life allows for a product to not only forgo an early grave in a landfill, but also re-enter the marketplace, or what is also referred to as the “second life market” without losing its value. Overall, digital labelling prevents waste while at the same time makes it easier for brands to communicate how garments can be recycled sustainably.
Eventually, as consumers and companies become increasingly engaged in new innovative solutions, Avery Dennison believes that digital ID labels will become the new normal. Scan the QR code below to explore a demo of a digital label experience.
As for the new normal, Avery Dennison continues to adapt to the many environmental and social challenges facing its company and also its stakeholders. By harnessing the existing knowledge of its sustainability goals, the company has distilled its original eight goals into three broader points to pre-emptively prepare itself for the future. Condensed, these goals now include the following: deliver innovations that advance the circular economy; reduce the environmental impact in our operations and supply chain; and be a force for good, adding value for all our stakeholders.
Avery Dennison is a Principal Sponsor of CFS+ and presenter of the online edition of the Design Studio. The digital Design Studio, presented by Avery Dennison shows the work of three inspiring creative directors who accepted the challenge to create a product within the context of designing sustainably. Click here for more information, and dive into each Creative Director’s challenge to learn more about their process and final products.