Unfolding ‘Unfolding Fashion Tech: Pioneers of Bright Futures’

Published in August this year, the book Unfolding Fashion Tech: Pioneers of Bright Futures, edited by Marina Toeters of and published by Onomatopee, explores what happens in the field of fashion innovation and introduces the reader to the field of wearable technologies and a range of issues that impact fashion now.

Fashion design has a reputation of being innovative and daring, but behind the scenes there is a lot of exploitation and pollution. Plastics and fabric dyes pollute water systems and workers are paid way below minimum wage. Thanks to technological advances in new materials, design processes, artificial intelligence, and 3D printing, changes in the fashion industry are possible, but unfortunately, they are not very prominent yet.

Toeters’ studio is dedicated to the design and prototyping of innovative textile products and garments. Expanding on the exhibition ‘Fashion? Future design for the present’ of Dutch Design Week 2018, which explored a wide range of possibilities for more sustainable industry by highlighting a range of innovative fashion projects from Dutch and international designers and researchers, Unfolding Fashion Tech: Pioneers of Bright Futures aims to make a statement about Dutch designers and researchers.

The Dutch fashion tech community is relatively small, but Dutch pioneers have an important impact on the global ‘thinktank’ in creating a better, more sustainable future for the fashion industry.

“This book is a fifteen-year journey through the field of fashion and technology,” Toeters writes in het foreword. “Personal benchmarks are presented alongside pioneering projects of leading fashion technology designers and show innovative concepts coming to fruition.”

As driving force behind the book, Toeters brought together theorists, scientists and designers behind the Dutch wearable technologies field, discussing their different perspectives on the challenges faced by those in- and outside the field.

In eight chapters, the books explores projects that combine fashion with technology. Each chapter is written by one of more experts on the subject, followed by a series of Dutch ‘pioneering projects’ from between 2000 and 2020 that fit the theme. From a historical overview of fashion and textile innovation to the material side of wearable technology, the book looks at fashion tech from multiple angles.

“We are at a crossroads in the development of fashion technology,” Toeters says in her conclusion. “ The active rate of development and innovation within the fashion tech pioneering community, the technology available to the producers and market, and the demands of consumers for change, provides and exciting vision for the future of the field.”

During Dutch Design Week (19-27 October 2019, Eindhoven, the Netherlands), there will be a mini exhibition and a presentation about the book. You can buy Unfolding Fashion Tech: Pioneers of Bright Futures here.

Photos: Onomatopee / / Living Colour