Introduction: the drive for sustainability in the fashion industry
The fashion industry used to be notorious for being wasteful- it accounts for about 10% of the world’s total carbon emissions, and this number was expected to rise to 24% by 2050. This was the case for two reasons: the substances used by the industry that releases toxic waste and the fact that about 20% of customers throw away clothes after only a few uses.
Sustainable fashion, also known as eco-fashion, is a processual change in the fashion industry towards more mindful production and consumption. The aim is toward greater ecological integrity and social justice. Sustainable fashion addresses the whole system and how it affects not just the environment but also how it exploits marginalized peoples.
However, one thing that has brought about the most drastic change- Artificial Intelligence.
How can AI help in the studio?
AI technologies offer solutions to several issues which make the whole enterprise of production wasteful or dangerous to the environment.
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- It offers predictive analysis, which can help retailers in many ways. Predicting trends is the first step towards meeting customer demands efficiently. AI-powered analytics help reduce the stocking of unsold inventory- the supply becomes proportional to the markets. Waste is thus considerably reduced.
- AI helps to reduce manufacturing and logistic errors through machine learning. Some brands leverage machine learning to identify customers’ preferences and customize their style by observing the latest trends.
- Not only with analytics and decoding customer preferences, but companies also use AI to save time in manufacturing. For instance, Nike is investing in Grabit robots, which will produce more than double the amount achievable by only human employees. This does not insinuate that jobs will be reduced; however, upskilling and reskilling workers, also achieved by several AI-powered applications, will further widen the job market.
- Another thing people do to reduce waste is rent. AI can also be used to minimize risks in the rental market. Machine learning technologies can identify similarities between customers who damaged, lost or stole rentals and thus predict and prevent future harm.
Using AI technology in the studio can aid the fashion industry to result in transformative change.
1- Product modelling: AI can achieve flawless product modelling and present the best visuals to the customers to precisely know what they are in. Trustworthy and attractive visuals bring in customers and retain them. AI is also increasingly used for 3D modelling to get the product on diverse models and appeal to the masses. It is not just a sustainable practice but also inclusive.
2– From warehouse to the client in record time:
saving time in the studio: the traditional production process goes in the following steps: it takes about a day to get the product from the warehouse to the studio; it takes at least 3 to 5 days to organize models for the shoot, meeting specific demands; another 4-5 days are expected to be required for the actual shoot. After all, this is over. It takes 1-2 more days in post-production, and then finally, it goes live the next day. In all, 10-11 days need to be kept aside for the process to be completed. AI can reduce this time to almost an hour. It sounds impossible, but with product modelling, functions like analytics and tagging make it a work of about 60 minutes.
3- Reduction of production cost by digitization and reuse:
the same shoot doesn’t have to be done repeatedly. One digital image of a model can be reused forever. Once you have all the different kinds of poses you might require, they can be edited in with particular products to make it their own seamlessly. This consequently leads to the reduction of costs.
4- Virtual Imagery of products- benefits:
People aren’t alienated. They feel satisfied with what they encounter when they come to shop. With virtual Imagery, people can see exactly what they wanted to and even feel represented if AI technology helps gain inclusivity.
The growing anxieties about these problems of the fashion industry compelled several enthusiasts and celebrities to consider the repercussions of their decisions on the planet. Millennials and Gen Z have been waking up to the crisis and making better choices; the blowing up of the trend of using second-hand clothing and thrifting, especially on social media, is proof of that awareness. People are seriously thinking about the effects of fast retail and focusing on sustainable options. The fashion industry is trying to be more sustainable by encouraging buying for more than one use and creating eco-friendly materials.