Within the last 6 years, there has been a palpable surge in interest and investment into wearable technology and Smart Textiles & Apparel, manifested both in academia and in the wide array of aspirational products available on the market. Recent market research on wearables also forecasts further growth in the next 3 years. However, as the field becomes increasingly saturated, potential terminology confusion and misconceptions may arise particularly among those in the industry who may not deal directly with the technologies but have interest in applying it to their work. Therefore in an attempt to provide clarity on an increasingly popular field to those perhaps less familiar with it, this chapter delivers an introductory overview of wearable technology and Smart Textiles & Apparel, which clarifies terminology encompassed within the field, reviews recent statistics and maps out how developments have been evolving over time, and assesses some of the challenges confronting the field.
Part of the book: Smart and Functional Soft Materials
A heightened awareness toward the fashion industry’s environmental impact has emerged in recent years, stirred by mounting evidence of intensified global clothing consumption and driven by the increased accessibility and affordability of clothing. In the last 3 years, the release of several comprehensive reports years detailing the extent of the fashion industry’s environmental impact, as well as the founding of several fashion industry-targeted sustainability campaigns (e.g., the “2020 Commitment” of the Global Fashion Agenda), has not only helped draw a great deal of attention to the issues but has also triggered an evident wave of intention toward a concrete, quantifiable action. With the abundance of information surrounding the subject of sustainability in the fashion industry, this chapter intends to provide an overview of (1) the most concerning environmental impacts caused by the fashion industry, (2) current leading collective sustainability campaigns mobilizing the fashion industry, (3) current available benchmarks and tools for measuring environmental impact of the textile life cycle, and (4) examples of how companies in the fashion industry are executing sustainability initiatives in their products or processes. Finally, the chapter will conclude with some of the current challenges and future opportunities in sustainability confronting the fashion industry.
Part of the book: Fashion Industry