How will apparel industry of future look like?
29 June 2007 was the date when Apple iPhone was launched and in no time, it became a fashion and style statement for people to have a phone worth US $ 800 at that time and a huge downside for the fashion industry as people were ready to cut down on their clothing expenses to have that phone; it was a cataclysmic event for the fashion business as Apple took away money from people’s pockets into theirs.
“The same iconic phone has now reached to the poorest of the countries of Africa, showing us that it is not always the competition from other manufacturing hubs, but from other industries as well,” said Gunish Jain, Managing Director, Royal Datamatics.
Gunish lists five technology disruptors that he believes will change the course of apparel manufacturing (impacting positively or negatively) over the period of time.
The cost of solar power is decreasing so rapidly, it’s now cheaper than coal, based on a report from Lazard. The cost of producing one megawatthour of electricity in North America is around US
$ 50. Another news making headlines is that Chile will provide free power during daytime. In next few years, it will have a huge impact on how factories will be structured.
With the help of AI and interconnected businesses and technologies, the need of a physical office will significantly diminish. Any clerical task that can be automated, will be automated, bringing down the cost.
There are about 6-7 billion sensors present in the world currently. The number will further increase to 1 trillion by 2020. The world will be flooded with around 100 trillion sensors in next 50 years. The same trend can be linked with garments too in the future.
Data collection will become a standard task for every organisation. The real value of the company will depend on how effective would it be in storing experience into the computer. As human skill will be expensive in future, the ability to store experience into the server will help in deskilling of jobs and companies able to deskill will be successful.
“Slowly, but surely,” commented Gunish, and added, “Certain specific operations in apparel making will be automated and will form the next wave of disruption.”