The retail fashion culture has for long been toxic in terms of body positivity. For decades, a size convention was maintained by the leading brands and everyone else who did not fit the scale was frowned upon. So daunting was the practice that the younger generation often found it hard to follow the societal norms, thereby leading to bullying and mental health issues.
This tomfoolery had to stop, and it did. Modern companies realized around half-a-decade back that their customers were much more opinionated about body positivity now. Hence, the ‘one size fits all’ bogus was soon turned around in the hopes of increasing engagement, promoting awareness, and genuinely reversing the toxic culture.
As a result, we now have technology that aids in the process of diversity and size inclusivity in retail. With artificial intelligence (AI) and 3-dimensional imagery taking over to demolish ancient conventions, we can expect to watch the changes unfurling.
The importance of diversity and inclusivity in retail
Diversity and size inclusivity has never been more critical as it is now. A lot has changed in the last few years, with fashion moguls like Rihanna leading the body positivity campaigns with her brand- Fenty. Barbie, one of the most controversial brands that have received backlash for years for their body conventions, has also released dolls that accommodate bodies of all shapes, sizes, and disabilities.
Irrespective of how inclusive the brands choose to portray themselves as we need to look deeper. As consumers, it is important for us to choose wisely because even though being inclusive and diverse might seem the right thing to do, there’s more to the picture than meets the eye. We take a look at several reasons why brands might want to portray themselves, sometimes falsely as inclusive and diverse despite not making any grassroot level changes in their ethics and values.
It is all about increasing engagement. Jumping onto the bandwagon is the oldest trick in the book, and needless to say, it never fails. With the audience and customer advocating heavily for diversity and inclusivity, it was only a matter of time before the influencers grabbed the opportunity. Of course, it brought more awareness to the campaigns and produced the desired effect with no delay. Social media exploded, and engagement reached its peak. Hence, everybody won.
More engagement means more conversions. When the audience noticed a drastic change in the campaigns of their favorite brands, they took the apple with a smile. Thankfully, it was not poisoned and instead aimed to induce a sense of belonging for all those who had suffered immensely due to their physical appearances. The net product? Companies got their green bills, and their customers went home with more self-esteem than they had entered the stores with.
Bigger target audience
Earlier, global brands were only selling their products to a select few who had an ‘ideal’ body type (DISCLAIMER: there is no such thing as an ‘ideal body type’. Here, it is meant as satire, and we believe you are beautiful- just the way you are). However, their target audience has increased now that they sell products for everyone. When a brand can appeal to more people, they do it, and this instance has not been much different.
Stronger brand placement
A brand that includes is a brand that survives. Diversity and size inclusivity has received global attention and appreciation. Fashion tycoons like Victoria’s Secret that could not embrace the movement were fast to watch their empire decline. Here, the more sustainable companies found an easy opening to strengthen the voice of their brands and positioned themselves in the most optimistic light by promoting the cause of the common mass. As a result, the market expanded to include a more body-positive approach towards fashion trends.
(Product Marketing Manager)
Hi, Connect with Arunava Acharjee
Using AI and 3D to achieve diversity and inclusivity
Diversity and inclusivity might be great for a fashion business, but it would hardly be easy after decades of stereotyping the clothing infrastructure. Suddenly creating an inventory of fashion accessories for all shapes and sizes would amount to millions of dollars for a company- enough to make the bigger fish frown. Enter 3D and AI.
3D and AI were making our lives easier everywhere already; it was only a matter of time before fashion tech picked them up and found a use for them. With this technology at disposal, it became infinitely more efficient to design clothes for all shapes and sizes. With 3D imagery, one could now create the perfect combination of colors to match the diverse skin tones of the customers, and with AI, the products could be put together without punching holes into the pocket.
3D and AI have proved to be useful for the fashion industry in the following ways:
An automated process
3D and AI have enabled designers to automate the process of making something for everyone. They only have to make one design, and the software ensures the fashion line caters to all sizes available. Nobody has to break a sweat anymore, thereby saving thousands of dollars worth of time and resources.
Accurate representations of body sizes using 3D
3D image processing is immensely powerful. The technology has helped scientists for years to build robust machines that went on to change the world. Retail realized its advantages and put it to fair use. As a result, 3D now assists fashion brands to accurately represent all body-types on the screen, making it easier for the designers to come up with sustainable fashion trends.
Customized recommendations for body-positive fashion
With AI and 3D technology, shopping has become easier for customers too. Now, they can buy from their favorite companies without having to step out and run across to twelve stores to find the perfect size. AI works to recommend clothes that will fit a potential customer just right and shows a visual representation of them wearing them. This makes decision-making a faster process, also speeding up conversions.
Sustainable fashion is not only good for the money but also a norm that has been ignored only for too long. Diversity and size inclusivity in the retail sector has been a welcome movement that businesses across the globe have embraced. Supporting this inclusion is technology- the best possible way to ensure minimum cost and maximum impact. Needless to elaborate that 3D and AI made it possible to break out of the stereotypical culture that fashion had induced for years.
We, at FlixStock, love the progress the entire fashion community has made to include diversity in their campaigns. We applaud the efforts of all brands and companies that adopted the modern conventions without delay, thereby legitimizing what the mass had been asking for decades. We are proud to be a part of this new world, this unique habitat that accommodates all, irrespective of their shapes, sizes and color.