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ORDRE Weekly

This week's digest explores high-tech heat fabric technology; exposing UK's sweatshops; how custom orders are an effective growth tactic for young designers and more

  • Amazon has developed an AI fashion designer
  • Courrèges showed a trio of beautiful coats fitted with an interior heating system. Control buttons on the left bicep could make the back, shoulders, and even pockets heat up.
  • The formula for brand experience: Burberry Makers House
  • Did you know sweatshops in the UK exist?
  • In a Zara world who orders custom clothing?
  • How RFID tags became trendy
  • Guatemalan artisans are going after 64,000+ Etsy products for copyright infringement
  • Driven by fast fashion, millennials choose luxury accessories over clothing
  • House Of Fraser opens first sustainable store
  • What does it actually mean to shop ethically?
  • Have we reached peak 'merch'?


AMAZON HAS DEVELOPED AN AI FASHION DESIGNER

Technology Review

"Amazon isn’t synonymous with high fashion yet, but the company may be poised to lead the way when it comes to replacing stylists and designers with ever-so-chic AI algorithms. Researchers at the e-commerce juggernaut are currently working on several machine-learning systems that could help provide an edge when it comes to spotting, reacting to, and perhaps even shaping the latest fashion trends."

 

A NEW HIGH-TECH FABRIC COULD MEAN THE END OF BULKY LAYERS IN THE WINTER

Quartz

"At a conference of the American Chemical Society, Army researchers explained how they’re using a coating of fine silver nanowires on ordinary fabrics, such as cotton or polyester, as a way to potentially keep soldiers warm in extreme cold. The coating makes the fabric conductive, and with just a few volts of electricity, it can generate a substantial amount of heat."
 


THE FORMULA FOR BRAND EXPERIENCE

Business Of Fashion 

"At a time when retail is facing its most challenging time yet, the need to adapt is becoming even greater for companies wishing to remain in the race. Brands must create environments in which customers who come into their stores leave feeling a greater connection to the brand, and these connections are now built through the creation of experience."



DID YOU KNOW SWEATSHOPS EXIST IN THE UK?

Vogue UK

"As Asos and New Look speak out about the challenges - and dark realities - of 'Made in Britain' products, ethical fashion author and journalist Tamsin Blanchard speaks to the Ethical Trading Initiative's Debbie Coulter about the working standards in Leicester and what we can do as consumers."



IN A ZARA WORLD, WHO ORDERS CUSTOM CLOTHING?

Racked

"Private clients are, by nature, an invisible part of most fashion brands’ businesses. But for many young designers, working directly with customers on special orders can be an effective growth tactic, helping them maximize profits while getting feedback from discerning consumers about fit and style — valuable information that they can apply to future collections. Established luxury brands hold their runway shows not just for editors and department store buyers, but for high-spending individuals too."

 

EVERLANE’S QUEST TO MAKE THE WORLD’S MOST SUSTAINABLE DENIM

Fast Company

"Making a pair of jeans creates massive pollution. But Everlane found a factory where denim by-product is turned into bricks and polluted water is filtered."



HOW RFID TAGS BECAME TRENDY

Engaget

"RFID chips are used to store information digitally, which can then be shared between objects through electromagnetic fields and radio waves. It may not be sexy, but companies see real potential in the technology, no matter how old. Fashion brands are using the tech to battle counterfeits and track inventory more efficiently."



GUATEMALAN ARTISANS ARE GOING AFTER 64,000+ ETSY PRODUCTS FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

Fashionista

"Ethical Fashion Guatemala, a new website spearheaded by a couple of gringos named James Dillon and Kara Goebel who have been living in Guatemala for seven years and operating a local travel service, hopes to give the power back to the makers."

 

DRIVEN BY FAST FASHION, MILLENNIALS CHOOSE LUXURY ACCESSORIES OVER CLOTHING

Digiday

"In the first half of 2017, full price sales of luxury handbags increased 22 percent, while scarf and hat sales rose as well, at 20 percent and 83 percent respectively, according to a report by retail analytics firm Edited that examined 30 major U.S. retailers that sell more than 5,000 brands. Meanwhile, full price apparel sales have decreased by 34.5 percent. Jeff Staple, founder of e-commerce site Staple Design, said the shift toward accessories among millennials is in large part a result of the continued rise of fast fashion."



HOUSE OF FRASER OPENS FIRST SUSTAINABLE STORE

Drapers

"House of Fraser has opened its first sustainable store at the Rushden Lakes shopping and leisure complex in Northamptonshire."

 

WHAT DOES IT ACTUALLY MEAN TO SHOP ETHICALLY?

Racked

"In case you missed the memo: Ethical shopping is hard. Production chains are so complicated that major companies often can’t guarantee what conditions their products were made in, and even alternatives like the Salvation Army aren’t always ideal because of their anti-LGBTQ track records."



HAVE WE REACHED PEAK 'MERCH'?

Business Of Fashion

"From Vetements’ 'DHL' tee to Zoe Church’s Bieber-approved hoodies, heavily logo-ed promotional apparel has never been more fashionable. But is branded merchandise simply a passing trend, or indicative of a sincere shift in consumer values?"