Challenge from Nike
Materials Matter

Brief

In order to reduce and alter the impact that fabric and textile industries have had on the environment, we need to redefine society's relationship with materials and to seek novel and well thought-out ideas on how to engage industries, designers, product creators and the public in valuing, demanding and adopting lower impact materials.

Challenges 

  • A very open question that targets the entire mass apparel industry provided very little limitation and a lot of difficulties in framing the problem. Giving pursuing environmental-friendly is beyond one company’s job or one industry’s responsibility, and for every industry is facing the same consumer.

  • Mass apparel industry produces a low margin commodity and the majority of its stakeholders' profits from the economy of scale. Hence, the growth of business comes from exploitation of more natural resources, meaning producing and selling more. 

  • Existing recycle system and lower impact material development are far from mature to be applied within a global scale, due to the unbalanced labor costs in different markets, and a lack of visible needs in lower impact materials from consumers.

  • There is a conceptual confusion in terms of the exact definition of behaving sustainably. It generates extreme difficulties in making the right choices for every stakeholder from designing to producing and consuming.

Core insights

  • Inspired from behavioral change design, we learned that It is up to how the product is designed to dictate whether consumers behave more responsibly or not, and hence push the whole industry towards a more sustainable cycle.  

  • Consumer needs have been lifted from basic needs and identity expression towards a lifestyle that empowers them to be the better version of themselves. If an apparel can create tangible benefits beyond feeling good about themselves and sustain a reciprocal relationship to empower its consumers on their daily life without toss and purchase, it will change the perception of fashion.

  • Disruptive innovation from the edge of and beyond one organization is much easier to survive than from within its core. Hence opportunities lie at the edge of the fashion industry and beyond, and any ideas that can leave a digitalized track of data to sustain an ongoing relationship has very big potential.

Solution

Smart Fashion Incubator – Product and services that empower consumers to be more of themselves and live a better life related to the realms of apparel.

Link to the complete work

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