In My View: 2020 Top Takeaways

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Reflecting on the impact of the pandemic and analyzing post-Covid trends will provide a plethora of talking points in 2021, so here’s my 2 cents on 3 top takeaways from 2020:

The Future is “Phygital”

A new mix of physical and digital elements in our everyday experiences is now referred to as “Phygital.” From retail to recreation, this hybridization of real and virtual is fast taking shape, with textiles along for the ride whether that is selling, making, designing or even just talking about fabric. Some push the digital aspect further: “Digital will become like electricity. We won’t notice it but it will power everything we do,” says Patrice Louvet, president and CEO Ralph Lauren Corporation, during a  National Retail Federation Leadership Series online talk.

The Future is Circular

Move over sustainability, circularity has arrived. Consider the latest innovation from On Running, the Cyclone, a recyclable performance shoe made with caster beans that is available via subscription service. At “end of life” the sneaker is returned to On Running, “so we get the material back and wash, grind and recycle to make another pair of shoes,” explains On Running’s Viviane Gut in a digital panel discussion on material innovation. The Cyclone subscriber is sent a new shoe and  round and round it goes. “Design to regenerate” is how Outerknown approaches product development, according to John Moore, creative director, whose current focus is on bio-alternatives, like cactus leather, as an example of Outerknown’s “evolution from sustainability to circularity.”

The Future is Comfort

We’ve seen it with sneakers, yoga pants and now we’re seeing it with entire wardrobes:  comfort consciousness rules the day. Comfort clothing will move from inside the house to the outside world,” observes Hamit Yenci, co-founder of Hich Solutions and a speaker at Denim Premiere Vision earlier this month. With denim, or any article of apparel, even luxe items, the clothing will look familiar, yet comfort will be the main selling point.

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