In a world where women have four times as many clothes in their wardrobe than they did in 1980, we have to ask ourselves what lies in store for the future of fashion. In the UK alone, 30 billion pounds of clothing that have never been worn sit neglected in the back of people’s closets. This habit of overbuying has been accelerated with the growth of fast fashion retailers such as Forever 21, ZARA, and H&M. However, there are fashion innovators who are trying to alter elements of the industry by pushing it away from the current culture of cheaply mass-produced garments. “The Next Black – A film about the Future of Clothing,” by David Oworsky and Victor Köhler, explores the way various people today are implementing changes in the fashion industry with respect to technology, biology, and sustainability. Below are the creators, scientists, designers, and makers featured in the film that we identified with the most.
Nancy Tilbury of Studio XO in London fuses fashion and technology to create pieces that interact with the wearer. She was the creator of Lady Gaga’s famous bubble-blowing dress, which was solely produced with a 3D printer. The unveiling of the mechanical and human process behind fashion is a direction fashion could take in the future.
Biodesign consultant and founder of Biocouture, Suzanne Lee, uses cellulose-producing microbes to do the work of synthesizing a completely biodegradable material that she can sew into garments. The microbes take on the shape of the container they are grown in and reduce the waste created by traditional fabric production.
Rick Ridgeway of Patagonia makes a salient point that no amount of change can occur unless it comes from the consumers themselves. In 2011, Patagonia released a Black Friday campaign that asked consumers not to buy their jackets (unless they really needed them) to emphasize the importance of making more critical and sustainable decisions when purchasing clothing.
At Nineteenth Amendment, we believe in creating an online platform that reconfigures the traditional buying model, making both consumers and designers aware of all facets of the garment production process. Although we can’t make biodegradable clothing (yet…), we at Nineteenth Amendment overlook the entire manufacturing process right here in New York to ensure that we use the most sustainable methods possible. We pledge to make high-quality clothing that will last for years to come…
The future of fashion might require looking to the past: the days when people owned fewer garments made by individual ateliers but cherished them and strove to take care of each item they owned. At Nineteenth Amendment, we value the close connection that ateliers had with their clients, so in today’s digital age, we decided to make our designers’ processes accessible to consumers through our virtual studios. Change is always difficult to see while it’s happening, but we at Nineteenth Amendment will be redesigning the fashion industry – we are the Next Black.