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Fashion and Technology – Where Tech Meets Fashion

Fashion and Technology – Where Tech Meets Fashion


By Chidinma Prisca Elebe ([email protected])

The fusion of fashion and technology, often referred to as ‘fashion technology,’ has proven to be a resounding success, exemplifying their harmonious partnership in the realm of science and technology. Considering that technology has revolutionized various facets of our lives, from healthcare to education to transportation and security, it is only natural to expect it to bring enhancements to the field of fashion as well. 


Fashion design used to be a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. It demanded arduous and hard-handed efforts from humans. However, in the present day, fashion has experienced significant advancements due to the integration of technology within the industry.

Numerous startups have harnessed this transformative trend, resulting in a significant expansion of the fashion landscape. Technology has played a pivotal role in multiple facets of the fashion industry, encompassing manufacturing, material sourcing, design, retail, and transportation.

This article was inspired by the fact that the term “tech’ in Nigeria, often implies a focus on data science and analytics while our peers in the industry have established an entire value chain centered around fashion technology, thereby creating abundant opportunities for individuals who possess these requisite skills. Here are some key aspects of the intersection between fashion and technology:



  • Smart fabrics/wearable technology: One prominent intersection of fashion and technology lies in the realm of smart textiles, where fabrics are engineered to possess specific functionalities such as temperature regulation and vital sign monitoring or change color based on various factors. Notably, Apple has introduced stylish and innovative wearable technology that has garnered widespread global acclaim for its life-enhancing features. The applications of smart textiles are diverse, ranging from biometric-tracking sportswear to medical garments that monitor patients’ well-being. Additionally, wearable technology has become a leading trend in the fashion industry, with smart watches and fitness trackers becoming almost ubiquitous. Furthermore, designers are actively exploring novel approaches to infuse technology into clothing and accessories, exemplified by experiments with LED lighting and 3D printing to craft cutting-edge and futuristic fashion pieces. These devices not only serve functional purposes but also incorporate fashion elements to make them more appealing to consumers.
  • 3D Printing: 3D printing technology has been used to create unique and customizable fashion items, including clothing, accessories, and even shoes. It allows designers to experiment with intricate and unconventional designs.
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality: Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have been used for virtual fashion showrooms, allowing customers to try on clothes virtually and experience fashion in new ways.



The era of laborious and slow-paced fashion design is now an old tale. Technology has wholesomely empowered the fashion sector to achieve greater speed and efficiency across the entire spectrum, covering design, production, and distribution. For instance, automated cutting machines and robotic sewing systems excel in delivering garments with swifter and more consistent results compared to conventional methods. CAD software, 3D printing, and automation have collectively paved the way for a streamlined design and manufacturing process.



Cutting-edge technologies have enabled the creation of eco-friendly garments by incorporating recycled materials and minimizing waste. For instance, digital printing methods reduce water consumption and waste when contrasted with traditional dyeing processes and 3D printing also facilitates the design of garments with minimal fabric wastage.

  1. Customization: Technology has enabled the mass production of customized apparel. Progress in 3D printing and computerized knitting has paved the way for the creation of tailored garments featuring distinctive designs, fits, and color schemes. Furthermore, 3D rendering software empowers designers to generate digital prototypes of clothing, offering a preview of what the outfit may look like and how it would fit before it is physically produced. This not only minimizes waste but also saves time and costs.
  2. Online Retail: The ascent of e-commerce has revolutionized the fashion shopping experience for consumers. Online shopping has simplified the process of browsing and acquiring products, offering convenience and accessibility at any hour from anywhere. Simultaneously, it has empowered fashion brands to broaden their reach and enhance the efficiency of product sales. Online platforms serve as valuable marketplaces, affording designers a direct avenue to present their creations to consumers. 
  3. Social Media and Influencers: Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok have become instrumental in shaping fashion trends and promoting brands. Influencers play a crucial role in endorsing products and styles causing producers/designers to leverage on influencer marketing and user-generated content to build brand awareness and connect with consumers.




  • Supply Chain Management: Software and data analytics help manage the supply chain, making it more efficient, transparent, and responsive to demand. It is also used to better understand consumer preferences and trends, optimize inventory management, and offer personalized shopping experiences.
  • Block-chain: This enhances authentication and transparency in the fashion supply chain, particularly in the luxury sector, to authenticate products and combat counterfeiting.
  • Robotics and Automation: Automation is being used in clothing manufacturing, particularly for repetitive and labor-intensive tasks. Robots are helping to increase efficiency and reduce production costs.
  • Biometrics and Personalization: Some brands are experimenting with biometric data to create custom-fit clothing and offer personalized fashion recommendations.
  • AI Styling Assistants: AI-powered styling assistants can recommend complete outfits based on individual preferences, helping customers put together stylish ensembles.
  • AR Beauty and Makeup Try-On: In addition to clothing, augmented reality is used for virtual beauty try-on experiences, allowing customers to experiment with makeup and cosmetics virtually.
  • Fashion Forecasting: AI and data analysis are used to predict fashion trends, which helps designers and retailers stay ahead of consumer preferences.
  • Fashion Accessibility: Technology plays a crucial role in making fashion more accessible to individuals with disabilities, with innovations like adaptive clothing and inclusive design.
  • Fashion Tech Events: Various events and conferences, such as the Met Gala and CES (Consumer Electronics Show), showcase the latest fashion-tech collaborations and innovations.


  1. Overproduction and Fast Fashion: Technology accelerates production, leading to overproduction and the rise of fast fashion, causing environmental and labor exploitation issues.
  2. Environmental Impact: Despite enabling sustainable practices, technology can contribute to environmental problems, especially in the production of electronic textiles.
  3. Privacy Concerns and Security Risks: E-commerce platforms and databases can be vulnerable to data breaches, risking sensitive customer information. Collecting customer data for personalized marketing raises privacy concerns about data collection by fashion brands and tech companies.
  4. Counterfeiting: While technology helps authenticate products, it can also be used by counterfeiters to produce convincing fake fashion items.
  5. Digital Divide: Not everyone has equal access to technology, leading to disparities in fashion trends and e-commerce access.
  6. Dependency on Trends: Rapid trend changes driven by technology can pressure consumers to constantly update their wardrobes, contributing to disposable fashion.
  7. Digital Fatigue: Constant exposure to fashion content online can lead to digital fatigue and body image dissatisfaction, impacting mental health.

The fashion industry continues to evolve, driven by technological advancements and changing consumer preferences. As technology continues to advance, we can expect even more exciting developments in the world of fashion and technology. While technology offers solutions and has brought numerous advantages to the fashion industry, it also poses ethical, environmental, and societal challenges. Fashion brands and tech companies must address these issues for a more sustainable and inclusive fashion-tech ecosystem.


Contents provided and/or opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Pacesetter Frontier Magazine or any employee thereof.

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