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Levi Strauss & Co.’s Role in ‘Fashion’s Fourth Industrial Revolution’

The future of fashion is here. Call it “fashion’s fourth industrial revolution” – from wearable tech to 3D printing, technological advances are set to have a radical impact on what we wear and how we wear it.

As recently reported in the Business of Fashion, there are myriad innovations underway that will change the face of fashion, thanks to a confluence of advances across the physical, digital and biological worlds. These run the gamut from high-tech textiles and sustainable solutions to digital customization.

When it comes to creating garments of the future, Levi Strauss & Co. is at the forefront. Take the Levi’s® Commuter x Jacquard by Google trucker jacket, a wearable tech piece that allows cyclists to access their phone and mobile apps to adjust music volume, silence a call or get an estimated ETA on their destinations simply by swiping their sleeve. It’s functional and, of course, fashionable.

As much as the tech revolution can influence the way we dress, the fashion industry has a lot to contribute in return. “Thinking about the relationship around explicit functionality and the target audience you’re going after — that’s what fashion companies are so good at,” explained Amanda Parkes, co-founder and chief of technology and research at Manufacture NY, at a June BoF event.

Building relationships across industries is key to bringing consumers the next generation of tech-driven styles.

“Google was essential in helping us merge the gap between the denim industry and the digital world,” Paul Dillinger, vice president of global product innovation at Levi Strauss & Co., told BoF.

A focus on a more circular economy is also leading to materials innovation. Efforts likeLevi’s® partnership with Evrnu to create the first pair of jeans made partially from post-consumer cotton waste is a step in this direction.

The use of artificial intelligence to determine everything from a customer’s buying habits to addressing their health needs (think FitBit and the Apple Watch) is yet another component of today’s greatest advances. While you shouldn’t expect the revolution to take hold tomorrow, we’re much closer to shirts that can detect heart problems in its wearer than we think. Here’s to the future of today.

Read the full Business of Fashion story here.