Fashion meets tech: What to expect in 2024

Fashion designer using her digital tablet in her workshop

February 21, 2024By Helene Behrenfeldt

While the 2024 fashion forecast depicts cautious optimism, uncertainty prevails among industry leaders as fashion brands face pressing issues affecting the trade's profitability and sustainability, including economic slowdown, inflation, weak consumer confidence, and unsold inventory.

A transformational agenda centered on technology adoption is crucial for fashion brands to endure economic uncertainty and truly flourish. Automation and data-driven insights enable robust decision-making, unlock operational efficiency and resilience, and facilitate organizations in navigating disruptions with greater agility.

Beyond the runway, the future of fashion lies in the dynamic interplay between market needs and innovation. As 2024 unfolds, what major tech trends should fashion companies take into consideration to enhance their competitive edge?

1. Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML)

While many industry players are still in the early stages of AI/ML adoption, it’s proving invaluable in optimizing planning, supply chain management, and inventory control. Examples of AI/ML applications in the fashion sector include:

Demand forecast intelligence—Fashion’s dynamic consumer landscape poses a significant challenge to inventory planning. Here’s where AI/ML steps in—delivering granular sales forecasts by region, optimizing stock based on velocity patterns, and adapting to evolving order trends with agility.

Identifying emerging fashion trendsAI/ML can analyze massive data, thus unlocking consumer behavior patterns. This empowers fashion companies to tailor their merchandising strategies, reach untapped markets, and fuel growth.

Supply chain management: From disruption to optimization—AI/ML meticulously calibrates inventory management with predictive analytics, ensuring stock levels align with demand. AI/ML can also analyze global sourcing options to facilitate strategic sourcing decisions. By streamlining production and minimizing waste, AI/ML inherently encourages a more responsible approach to fashion.

2. Blockchain technology

Fashion brands face a growing challenge: achieving true transparency in their operations. From tracing complex supply chains to complying with evolving sustainability standards, the path towards responsible practices is often shrouded in opacity. This lack of visibility hinders stakeholder trust and brand reputation and exposes the industry to regulatory risks.

Europe is leading the charge in transparency initiatives with upcoming regulations like environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting and digital product passports (DPP). In North America, initiatives have accelerated, with regulations being mandated and companies embarking on their DPP journeys sooner than expected to prepare for compliance requirements. These mandates necessitate granular data collection and real-time traceability, pushing brands to embrace a new era of accountability.

Blockchain technology has become a game changer in powering transparency into the fashion supply chain. With its immutable, distributed ledger system, blockchain facilitates real-time data flow within business networks.

As the fashion industry grapples with the ever-increasing threat of counterfeiting, a transformative force has emerged: digital provenance. Powered by blockchain technology, fashion brands can assign unique digital identities to each product, enabling them to track its entire journey, from raw materials to finished products. This immutable record offers transparency, demonstrating their ethical and sustainable credentials to provide proof of authenticity and boost consumer confidence.

3. Cloud-based software for fashion

Success in the modern fashion industry hinges on leveraging real-time data across the value chain for agile decision-making. Data visibility requires a robust digital infrastructure that integrates data from diverse sources and provides actionable insights. Cloud-based software solutions offer the ideal platform for driving digital change with:

Data-driven insights

  • Big data and analytics: AI/ML algorithms can analyze vast data sets, uncovering hidden patterns and trends in consumer preferences, purchasing behaviors, and production processes. This information provides insights into product development, marketing strategies, and resource allocation, resulting in more efficient and profitable operations.
  • Predictive analytics: ML can forecast the demands of specific styles, colors, and sizes. This empowers brands to optimize production, preventing stockouts of popular items while minimizing excess inventory.
  • AI-driven design and recommendations: AI generates novel design suggestions and curates personalized product recommendations based on past trends and consumer preferences. This fosters a customer-centric shopping experience, driving brand loyalty.

Robotic process automation (RPA)

  • Automating repetitive tasks: RPA tackles repetitive tasks like data entry, order processing, and customer service inquiries, freeing up employees for higher-value strategic and creative roles.
  • Measurable productivity gains: RPA boosts productivity significantly by performing tasks with increased speed and accuracy, leading to cost reductions and improved customer response times. This quantifiable impact directly benefits your bottom line.

4. Fit tech and smart fabrics

Gone are the days of ill-fitting purchases. Advanced body scanning and virtual fitting solutions enable consumers to find the perfect fit, thus reducing returns and enhancing customer satisfaction. Also, augmented reality (AR) mirrors further streamline the shopping experience by integrating virtual try-ons into physical stores.

But the revolution doesn't stop there. Innovative materials such as bio-integrated fabrics and conductive fibers are weaving the future of fashion. Imagine clothes that adapt to temperature or even monitor health metrics. These innovations transcend aesthetics, creating adaptive, responsive apparels that enhance comfort, optimize performance, and promote sustainability.

Fashion and tech: Strategies for success

Here are a few strategies fashion brands should adapt to navigate the modern fashion landscape successfully:

  • Embrace tech transformation: Forget mere "adoption" – think embracement. Integrate cutting-edge technologies like data analytics, AI, and ML into your core operations. From optimizing supply chains to crafting personalized experiences, technology is your runway to a future of efficiency, innovation, and customer engagement.
  • Prioritize personalization: One-size-fits-all is as outdated as shoulder pads. Invest in effective personalization strategies—leverage data to understand your customer's unique preferences, desires, and aspirations. Craft targeted marketing campaigns, curated product recommendations, and bespoke experiences that resonate deeply, fostering loyalty and driving conversions.
  • Champion sustainability: Consumers are increasingly conscious of fashion's environmental impact. Source responsibly, embrace recycled materials, and implement circular economy models. It's a fundamental shift in consumer values, and pioneering sustainability will solidify your brand's relevance and ethical standing.
  • Advocate data-driven decision-making: Steer business operations with insights, not intuitions. Utilize analytics to understand current market trends, consumer behaviors, and campaign performance. In short, make better-informed decisions based on concrete data and optimize your strategies to achieve the maximum impact and ROI.


The ability to adapt and embrace innovation is crucial for future success. By investing in cutting-edge technologies like generative AI and data-driven insights, forging strategic partnerships, and fostering a culture of agility and experimentation, forward-thinking fashion brands can navigate the ever-evolving landscape and secure a competitive edge. This proactive approach will not only unlock operational efficiencies, but also pave the way for novel customer experiences and ultimately propel your business to the forefront of the fashion revolution. Gain actionable insights into the future of fashion tech. Watch our on-demand webinar to discover the key technological advancements that are shaping the fashion industry in 2024.

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