From innovations like jackets with touch sensors to zero wastage jeans, here is a peek into denim in the world of wearable technology.
Denim is no longer reserved for casual wear or a quick trip to the supermarket. Ask Meghan Markle who wore a Carolina Herrera midi-length denim dress to Prince Harry’s polo match recently. Denim, a wardrobe must-have, is constantly updated, tweaked and experimented with. While trends like distressed, dark washed and embellished denim are all the rage across the world, we stumbled upon an evolving section of denim focused on wearable technology at the recently concluded Denims and Jeans India Exhibition 2018 in Bengaluru. From stain proof white denim, to a denim fabric that acts as your masseuse, here’s what we found:
“One observation about the digital age is that people are always stuck to their electronic devices. But as a fashion designer, I use this technology to give people the power to communicate directly with each other,” says UX.FTT founder, Esther Zahn, a renowned Berlin-based wearable-tech designer who introduced the Ableton jacket. The jacket was made for stage performers to have the opportunity to perform live with an inconspicuous wireless connection. The jacket has six capacitive touch sensors and 12 functions that create sound effects, loops, melodies and control the lighting.
Created with Jacquard by Google, the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket has capacitive threads and a copper core embedded into the left cuff. Using a Bluetooth-powered dongle and basic hand movements, it connects to your smartphone. Swasti Gupta, head designer at apparel and footwear brand, Red Tape says, “I am sure it will reduce the risk of road accidents as you would no longer need to grapple at your pockets if you get a call or have to change the music.”
“Because I spent my childhood in the countryside and my father was a farmer, sustainability means everything to me,” says Lucia Rosin, a fashion designer, denim expert and sustainability enthusiast for 30 years. Her company, MEIDEA, has experimented with Japanese dyeing technique, shibori. They also use ozone washing and laser, which don’t require chemicals, to create their designs.
They have also began an Art upcycle trend. Lucia explains “We use vintage garments in our archives and get you to create your own story or sparkle. This was a collaboration with artists to bring new life to old garments.”
Another marvel is the G-Star Elwood RFTPi jeans, which is the first pair of jeans in the world made with zero wastage of water. It is the cleanest indigo, 100 percent organic denim, and has low impact metal finishing. This pair of jeans was a collaboration with Dystar and Artistic Milliners and it was so revolutionary that their fabric is the first to get a Gold Level certification by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, a leading global foundation that rates environmental impacts of consumer goods worldwide.
Get it personalised
“After a marmalade of arguments, Match Your Rags (MYR, a personalisation software) takes care of the largest one, sustainability, through product development,” Pietro Valenti, sales manager, MYR Asia, says with pride.
With MYR and similar apps like MYSELF and MYWEB, you and your designer can work together to create a personalised pair of jeans on a virtual platform down to choosing the stitching or the buttons.
Don’t hide your whites
On a quest for functional and sexy white denim, denim brand, Vicunha introduces, Ever White, which are three articles of clothing that repel liquids and avoid excessive washing. No more coffee or wine stains as the liquid simply drips down or can be removed with a dry cloth.
Cater to your curves
“In today’s world, everyone is stressed out and an invention like Biocharge from Orta Anadolu can get you to relax. It is a wellness fabric acting as your masseuse 24X7. I would say innovations like this, which are practical for customers, really matter,” says Yamini Vijay a fashion stylist at Emporio Armani. This particular denim is infused with a combination of minerals, medically proven to refresh muscles and support muscle regeneration to reduce stress.
The new ‘Atmosphere’ denim designed by Tejidos Royo features high performance fabric that protects you against all types of weather - rain, wind, cold, heat and more. It has a powerful thermal insulation but is breathable and has heat resistant fibers. It is also waterproof and has wind breaking properties. It’s an exceptional all-in-one jacket to carry around with you on any trip.
Another useful denim is an anti-pollution denim made by Kassim Jeans called the ‘invisible jeans’. This jeans’ main trait is the use of photocatalytic nanocom that eliminate pollution by using sunlight.
With all these trends out there, designers and fashion industry experts still expect amazing growth. Some have predicted denim swimwear or stronger denim roles in the home section. Others say that jeans will be 3D printed or used more regularly in health monitoring. We are all eagerly anticipating future 'wow' factors that can also be functional for the daily grind.