Sustainable Materials Technology
Most large retailers have been too slow to catch up with the consumers’ demand for sustainable products, especially in fashion. From the increasing consumer awareness of the materials used to make goods, as well as their life cycle and carbon footprint, sustainability isn’t just a fad anymore, nor a marketing gimmick. Independent brands that have emerged over the last decade have had sustainability at the heart of their businesses.
Allbirds, a footwear and activewear brand, has been at the forefront of using technology and utilising natural fibres (wool, FCS wood, sugar cane, and even discarded snow crab shells) to develop sustainable materials that go into their products. Their most recent technological development is TrinoXOTM, which they have used to create the TrinoXO Tee. This t-shirt has odour-reducing properties that come from a mix of materials and are made with a blend of TENCEL Lyocell (sustainable wood fibre), merino wool and Chitosan—a type of fibre that comes from exoskeletons from those discarded shells. First, the material is made by grinding shells into powder, then coating the fabric with a natural material, extruding it and then weaving it into the fabric.
Their innovation-driven business model means that Allbirds is in constant pursuit of new, planet-friendly materials. Their next step is developing a plant-based solution to leather—one of fashion’s most damaging and most commonly used materials.
Face Recognition Technology
With consumers hunting for more personalised solutions for their new online shopping experience, brands are also expanding their product line-ups to include AI-powered platforms. The implementation of virtual technologies accelerated last year when many retailers were not allowed to remain open. After restrictions were lifted, businesses have had to make both their in-store and online experiences even more extraordinary, for those who can or want to visit in person, and for those who are perhaps still hesitant to overcome the behaviours they adopted during lockdowns.
MAC Cosmetics’ Virtual-Try-On uses facial recognition technology to configure the right products. When searching for lipstick or eyeshadow, users can see what products look like on a range of skin tones and compare shades and textures in order to find the perfect match before buying.
AI offers consumers the opportunity to create special, tailor-made products at a level we’ve never before experienced. As long as consumers grow more comfortable with at-home beauty tech, it’s likely that the industry will continue to turn its eyes to the future. Hopefully, one that is more accessible, inclusive, convenient, and hygienic than ever before
Discover many fantastic sustainable initiatives on our Sustainable London Walking Tour. Find out more about retail and the youthful sustainable brands taking the retail sector by storm with our East End Retail Design Tour and how established retailers adapt with our West End Retail Design Tour. Get in touch today via email@example.com to find out what we can offer your group.