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ICYMI: Fashion’s sustainability pulse, Gucci customization, is blockchain a bad move?

Gucci
Gucci

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Sustainability in fashion is growing, but ‘systemic’ change a ways off [WWD]
  • Blockchain is crappy technology and a bad vision for the future [TNW]
  • Gucci introduces new ‘do it yourself’ customization program [WWD]
  • Nike patent imagines shoes with tiny treadmills built into the soles [Gizmodo]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Apple, Amazon and more vie for us drone pilot program [Reuters]
  • Facebook is launching a new team dedicated to the blockchain [Recode]
  • We were promised mind-blowing personal tech. What’s the hold-up? [WSJ]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • De Beers tracks diamonds through supply chain using blockchain [Reuters]
  • Amazon’s new codes on boxes encourage re-use [RetailDive]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Amazon reportedly could grab 10% of retail sales by 2020 [RetailDive]
  • Walmart’s head of e-commerce on the future of retail [Cheddar]
  • Aldo updates app to streamline trying on shoes in store [RetailDive]
  • Alibaba’s brick-and-mortar mall heralds new growth strategy [Nikkei]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Ikea ‘bullied’ a potted plant while encouraging another, then showed schoolkids the impact [AdWeek]
  • The world’s most popular iPhone app isn’t Facebook or WhatsApp [QZ]
PRODUCT
  • How product customization is driving a new business strategy at Tapestry [Glossy]
  • Ikea and Savile Row tailor William Hunt partner up to create three-piece suits [FashionUnited]
  • $12,350 for a pair of adidas? [BoF]
  • Alexander Wang designs cooler bag with Magnum [FashionUnited
BUSINESS
  • Hudson’s Bay seeks to revive Lord & Taylor’s fortunes [CNBC]
  • Here’s why nobody wants to buy Birchbox, even after VCs spent $90m [FastCompany]
  • Apple’s retail boss will be joining Ralph Lauren’s board of directors [BusinessInsider]
  • YNAP shareholders say yes to Richemont purchase offer [WWD]
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Editor's pick technology

Savile Row’s wearable tech future: why bespoke tailoring makes sense

ProjectJacquard

While classic tailoring on Savile Row might look the same as it has for hundreds of years, technology is starting to be incorporated at as a way of making the bespoke suit all the more personalised.

“Clients are getting younger, and we need to keep up to keep ahead,” Rachel Alice Smith, a self-employed coat maker at Norton and Sons, told me. She was hired by Google’s Project Jacquard team to create a prototype jacket featuring its conductive thread. The result includes a touch panel on the sleeve that was included in the launch video for Jacquard and Levi’s partnership announcement in late May.

That product might be a one-off for now, but it has since been taken on tour by Ivan Poupyrev, technical program lead at Google’s Advanced Technology and Products (ATAP) group, as a means of demonstrating the potential of the technology to other brands in the fashion world.

“The idea of incorporating a beautiful craft and tradition into the future of technology is exciting and something unexpected. We don’t seek out change on Savile Row but I think it’s possible to keep our heritage and still bring a new market of clients to the street,” says Smith.

Read the rest of her interview with me over at Forbes.