Smart Clothes which text their owners asking to be worn?

  • A new technology could see people receiving text messages from their clothing
  • Neglected garments will tweet and text the owner ‘asking’ to be worn
  • Concept sees garments tagged using innovative contactless technology

I’m confident that I’m not the only person that has some items of clothing which I haven’t worn in forever sitting at the back of my wardrobe with no hope of being worn anytime soon. This could be anything from a T-Shirt I once liked, to an old football shirt. They’re literally just sat there, gathering dust and waiting for me to give them a new lease of life.

There is a new concept that’s currently being developed this which may put an end to clothes languishing in the darkness by giving the garments the power to give their owners a reminder that they exist and they’re still available for wearing.

Think you can just ignore the reminder? Think again! The clothing can also get in touch with a clothing charity and actually be asked to be recycled – and at this point, the charity can then send you all of the information you need about how to donate your old clothing. That’s not all either – the clothing can also be programmed to list itself on eBay!

connected-wardrobe

The reason for this is because of a recent study which highlighted that as a society we own four times as many clothes as we did 20 years ago, although we only wear roughly 20% of the clothing that we own regularly. This has led to academics from Birmingham City University to begin to develop the idea of a ‘connected wardrobe’ with the hope of encouraging more ethical clothing consumption.

The idea is that our clothing will be tagged using a brand new, washable technology – also known as radio-frequency identifications.

Mark Brill, a senior lecturer at Birmingham City University, said:

“Think of the surprise when an owner suddenly receives bids for items they didn’t know were in their wardrobe.

“The connected wardrobe is a practical, engaging concept to encourage more people to think about their clothing consumption. Ultimately, I hope it will encourage more ethical fashion consumption.”

He also went on to add:

“Perhaps we can even move away from the idea of ‘ownership’ of clothing, to simpy using them as long as we need them. When we’ve worn them enough, the items will pass themselves on to their next keeper to wear.”

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The idea of a ‘connected wardrobe’ gets its inspiration from the ever growing ‘Internet of Things’ – a concept whereby ordinary household objects are connected to the internet so they’re able to share information.

This can be from setting an alarm on your clock, to adjusting the temperature of your home before you arrive, to even setting your kettle to boil at the exact time that you get up in the morning – it’s obvious that the internet is continually changing the way that we live our lives.

Now, the ‘Internet of Clothes’ is designed to ensure that all neglected garments will tweet and even text their current owners (i.e you) ‘asking’ for you to wear them. This does depend on certain variables though such as the weather and the frequency of wear. Clothing will also be designed to keep track of other information such as who the previous owner was, who made the garment, and how much the worker was paid to create the garment.

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It’s been reported that in Britain, shoppers buy 2.15 million tonnes of clothing (including shoes) annually, yet we have an estimated £30 billion worth of clothing that is clogging up our wardrobes.

Another reason why we waste so much clothing could be the ever changing world of fashion. This means that what we consider to be fashionable today might be out of fashion tomorrow and this can lead to a change in our tastes and clothes going out of style and losing their appeal to you.

One obvious way to prevent this is to get custom printed Tshirts from specialist printing companies who are able to create fashionable, printed clothing that you design using your own ideas and artwork. This means that the Tshirts will always be personalised to you and therefore you’re more likely to wear them more often than a Tshirt that you regularly see other people wearing.

By doing this, you’re creating your own custom fashion label and with that, you’ve got your own brilliant personalised clothing that you are more likely to wear over and over again – safe in the knowledge that it won’t be going out of fashion any time soon.

A Guide to starting your own Urban Streetwear Brand

The urban streetwear scene is a crowded place with a lot of copycat designers out there. If you’re serious about creating a unique brand but aren’t sure where to start, follow our start-up guide for some tips on how to survive in a saturated market.

Don’t rush into it

First things first – do not rush your ideas. Figure out exactly what you want to sell, where you want to sell it and consider how profitable you want your business to be. Garments cost money, printing costs money and shipping costs money, so make sure to do your sums and look around for the best deals before you even consider getting to work on your designs.

There are a lot of different designers out there, so you’ll also want to consider initial ways you can help yourself stand out from the crowd. Creating designs that mean something to you are important but when creating a streetwear brand you need to think with your head, not your heart.

Find a reliable printer

Next, you’ll want to find a reliable printing company that can cater to your needs. Finding a good quality printer before you get too far into the design process will help you work out an approximate initial cost for your ideas. You’ll want to know that the prints are high quality and that both shorter and larger runs can be catered to, so that you can start off small and adjust your requirements as you grow.

Ask yourself – are you looking to embroider your designs, print them or both? You may not have completely decided upon your preferred method just yet, so ensure that the company you choose allows you to experiment with a range of different printing and embroidery techniques. The more choice you have, the more complex you can make your apparel and the wider the range will be that you can offer.

Ask yourself: What do you want to say?

Following on from the head and heart debate, you’ll next want to focus on your message. Try to tap into a market that isn’t there yet but that you think should be and build your brand message from this. There are many niche areas to explore within urban streetwear but if you are aiming for something completely unique you need to head into uncharted territory.

A strong message is incredibility important with streetwear. Whether it’s political, cultural, social or personal you should aim to create something that evokes a reaction. From the name of your brand, to the designs and marketing, you need to show people that you are a fierce and fiery company with bags of attitude.

Not a designer? Draft in some outside help

There is nothing more detrimental to an urban streetwear brand than bad design. Not everyone who wants to start an urban clothing brand has the necessary design skills to craft the apparel artwork – and that’s okay.

However, going it alone and creating a substandard design does not make business sense and will not help your start-up company to flourish. If you don’t have any graphic designer friends to help you out, you can find a freelancer online. Prices vary depending on a freelancers experience but there’s something out there for everyone.

Focus on your marketing

Finally, you’ll want to dedicate a serious amount of time marketing your brand. Designing your streetwear and marketing your company go side by side because you’ll want to drum up some positive responses and a good following for your product launch.

If you’re on a small budget, focus on harnessing the power of social media to promote your brand. Follow influential streetwear designers and apparel lovers on Twitter, research the best Instagram hashtags to use on your photos and if you have the budget for it, pay for sponsored advertising on sites such as Facebook. By interlinking and weaving your brand into different sites, you can create a strong message about who you are and what you stand for.

Remember…

Most importantly of all, always keep a clear head no matter where you go with your brand and try not to get distracted from your end goal. If you can combine great business sense with a passion for urban streetwear, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful urban brand. We are here for all your printing needs – http://www.garmentprinting.co.uk