Pushing fashion forward

Style always changes at its own pace, but the fashion business has been moving at lightspeed over the past decade. The clothes you pick might always come down to colour, cut and fabric, but how you buy them has probably changed. How often do you go shopping compared to browsing online? As the internet and artificial technology have opened new opportunities for both customers and companies, the forward-thinking fashion industry has proved particularly innovative in its integration of new technologies.

The smartest fashion startups have jumped on the gains of the eCommerce revolution and come up with a dazzling array of new ideas, ranging from 3D imaging that lets you virtually try clothes on to 3D printed accessories and personalised recommendations sourced from artificial intelligence. Here are our pick of the new companies pushing the boundaries of fashion and tech.

Wide Eyes Technology

If you see someone walking by wearing something you’ve just gotta have, snap a pic and send it to Wide Eyes. This visual search engine uses AI technology to suggest similar looks from its catalogues. 


Harnessing the power of augmented reality and 3D technology, Holition’s intriguing Face software allows you to try on makeup without applying anything, using your smartphone or tablet like a virtual mirror.


Are you a difficult shape to shop for? EyeFitU is the perfect solution, an all-in-one online platform that allows you to shop for your exact size across an enormous variety of brands and styles. Just put in your height and weight and the recommendations roll in.


Customers use this app to create a 3D avatar to see how a garment would look on you before purchasing. Perfitly means no more buying three sizes of a t-shirt on ASOS and then returning the ones that don’t fit.

Excess Materials Exchange

This innovative startup is a digital marketplace with an ethical heart. EME describes itself as ‘a dating site for secondary materials’. It allows companies to exchange unwanted materials, allowing fashion companies to save money and look after the environment.


With this ingeniously simple styling app, you upload your wardrobe to a digital catalog which can then be browsed by your friends and family, and they can see yours. Hanger allows you to create outfits, borrow from each other, and plan your outfit ahead of time.


If you’ve always fancied yourself as a little crafty but don’t know where to start with jewellery, Troupe is your solution. Upload your favoured design and the site will automatically generate a range of jewellery featuring the image. These will be custom made in America, allowing you to sell them and make profits, and maybe keep a little something for yourself.


Everyone could benefit from a personal stylist, but few can afford it. Using Intelistyle the idea isn’t so farfetched: their AI fashion stylists will process photos you take or your online discoveries and then suggest outfits, both from your own wardrobe and online stores.


This one is for the business side of the fashion industry. A data analysis service with clients including All Saints and JC Penney, Trendalytics surveys social media and web searches to offer brands and stores crucial information about what consumers are talking about, and what they’ll want to buy next.


Sustainable fashion is trending right now and we’ve heard all sorts of zany ideas, but this might just win the prize. Algalife is developing microorganism algae which can be used to make dyes and fibres which leave a better environmental footprint than traditional materials. The algae also contains vitamins and proteins which mean that the garments nourish your skin while you wear them.

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