There is a changing of the guard as new technologies take us into uncharted waters, and as the demand for more sustainable fabrics and fair trade increases, we are seeing a huge shift in the industry.

The fashion industry is the number two polluter in the world, just behind fossil fuels. The main reason for this is that fast fashion, in particular, produces garments that have a shelf life of half a season, and uses less expensive fabrics such as polyester and rayon that are bad for the environment.

To combat waste that the fashion industry creates and minimize its negative environmental impact, we are moving towards Fashion on Demand (FoD). What is Fashion on Demand? FoD is a fairly new concept that is growing in popularity because, not only do consumers participate in the design process, but they also get an emotional attachment to the garment. With new innovations and technological advancements, it is now possible to co-create designs. In other words, consumers are able take their ideas directly to the designer and have them produce it. This allows companies to cut down on overproduction as well as making the industry more eco-friendly. 

One company that is doing this already is ModCloth. How it works is simple; the ModCloth team shows consumers several designs, that are then voted upon. When a style gets enough votes, ModCloth manufactures the item and sends out a notification that the item is ready for purchase. This not only ensures the company of sales, but it also reduces the carbon footprint. In 2015, they took the concept of co-creation to another level with the introduction of "Make the Cut." During this program, ModCloth had a group of consumers send in design sketches of garments they wanted to see produced. Other consumers had the opportunity to vote on the sketches, out of which the best design would then be produced. Not only did the winner see their design in the catalog, but they were also awarded $500.

Another example is iTailor, that is making a difference one suit at a time. Though the company primarily designs menswear, it is branching out to womenswear. Their online service is easy to use. Consumers can simply pick their fabric, their pattern, their style, fill out their measurements and submit their order. In about 3 weeks, their custom tailored suit will be delivered to their doorstep. By providing this custom-made service, iTailor minimizes waste from overproduction.

A recent study showed that 60-70 per cent of consumers under the age of 35 make purchases based on sustainability. Fashion on Demand is the wave of the future and we better not miss this boat. If Generation Z cannot design their own hoodies, the planet will pay the ultimate price.

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