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How AI is helping evolve the fashion industry

April 28, 2021

Editorials

How AI is helping evolve the fashion industry

Being a revolutionary tool on its own, Artificial Intelligence has been engraving its place in many industries, helping them throw and renovate. Created by humans after all, it has taken all the faculties of analysis and pattern notice, perfecting it through trial and fail method. Extensive use of data analysis is needed to read the needs and interests of customers, imagine how fast the accuracy of AI grows, the more data there is available. Although it does not become the sole solution of industry challenges and problems like those of wastage in the beauty industry, it is definitely giving a huge hand in figuring out the right approach to more efficient and less damaging sales. Here we will explore how AI can optimize different sides of the fashion industry:


Working through smart algorithms and scanning information for particular areas in question, AI requires big data for accuracy. Big leaders in the industry do not have a problem with providing that, hence can get the most of the tool available. When we think of AI, we mostly think of smart chatbots, a big part of customer experience optimisation, and lately all of us have definitely heard of the fashion weeks held online. However, AI offers much more than that, and most of the impact it has had on the industry has been extremely efficient, yet remains subtle for the eye. Working to understand customers shopping habits and personal interest, purchase patterns and knowing all about your shopping history, it allows the brands to get a better idea of where your future interaction with industry is going, imagine when this is the case of understanding millions of potential customers. In no case it is replacing the creative aspect of fashion - there will never stop being a need for the inspired and the visionaries. However, seeing how basing the product production has been based on intuitive understanding of the audience's future interest, it is fair to say that the supply-demand predictions have been off. 


The biggest problem with this 3 trillion dollar industry is that a huge fraction of the creations sold ends up being never worn and thrown away. Although completely clean and organic production all over the world is an impossible standard for the times we will live to see, it is definitely a fair concern to be raised over the environmental effects of the industry’s methods. What a huge fraction of those effects can be cut down, if only all that which was necessary and put to use ended up in the hands of clients? This is where AI’s brilliance comes in. The fact that it can predict the future patterns and demand for different inventory, not only the companies’ economy will benefit from unsold inventory costs, but the world from having less go to waste. 


The constantly changing needs of customers, fast fashion with its seasonal offers, requires for brands to throw out collections every month or even every week. Data analysis can help organize the collection in a more efficient way, expecting a higher rate of sales. By integrating the insights about the customers, items are created with a certainty of desire and need. From the type of the product, to its texture color and size, brands are moving away from the historical trial and error to a calculated, less error more facts approach. The external influences that come into play to shape and redirect trends and what is in, is a whole different discussion, AI focuses merely on the past and current flow and quantity of interest, for a near term future. It is not to direct fashion, but to optimize the experience for the brands, clients and the planet, in many different ways. The brands turn up their sales, customers get what they want, planet remains, or shall we say gets into a healthy condition.


The journey of product creation to customer experience of the brand to post-purchase services, all of these parts have been upturned by what AI has to offer. Brands can optimize their marketing services by knowing what their target audience is like and better targeting this audience. From search engines to actual e-shops, there has been personal adaptation by likeliness of compatibility for each user. We might not notice how huge this is, but we all have noticed an ad come up across all platforms we use with an ad section, for what we like after we mentioned it somewhere or something we definitely would like. This ensures that the products are better reached by those who would want them and are less likely to go to waste. It also means that when we search for items, we are confronted by less options we do not want to see, for an oversaturated market this function comes in very handy for both parties. The process is more convenient, faster and less demanding of our research capabilities. 


One of the biggest advantages of AI is its capability to automatically perform simpler mundane tasks, replacing labor that in many cases is taking place in poor conditions, unethically distributed roles to minors and with unfair wages. Machines, or robots, can perform certain tasks like sewing, cutting and stitching materials for a creation of less intricate pieces. Many brands are using its analysis of customer’s tastes and put it to use from design step to manufacturing. It can style, providing possibilities to have a virtual trial of a piece. During the times of the pandemic with its lockdowns, we might all miss the full shopping experience. Although it might not apply to high fashion, it definitely is a foundation brick for the production process for retailers and brands of the future. It might cost to integrate AI and such technologies, but long-term results outweigh the present challenges. The closest it gets to real shopping, machines are becoming capable of replacing the duties of many role players in the industry, all the while optimizing it on all levels. Efficient, interactive, personal, this technology’s effects on the quality of the industry and its relationship with the users, while also minimizing the unsustainable methods used prior, can astonish any user, and this is the future we will come across in the mainstream very soon.

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