What the fusion of tech and fashion means for our future.

By Genevieve Kyle.

The term sustainability holds a heavy weight. Thrown around in fashion frequently these days, it promises a better and brighter tomorrow. The industry is now looking to new fabrics and technologies to fulfill those promises of more sustainable fashion.

Leading the race on that front is Danit Peleg, a fashion designer known for her 3D-printed work. After graduating from Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel in 2015, Peleg made waves in the fashion and tech industries globally with her graduate collection, the first ever fashion collection made entirely using desktop 3D home printers. Since 2015, Peleg has had her designs exhibited in galleries and museums in Paris, Milan, London, Rio de Janeiro, and throughout the United States. In 2016, she designed a dress for Paralympian Amy Purdy, a double-leg amputee dancer, who performed at the Opening Ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.

“There are many benefits to 3D printing as it relates to our environment and it can be a real sustainable alternative to the problems we face in the industry today, as well as improve the customer experience,” explains Peleg. As it produces little waste and leftover fabric, 3D printing allows every design element to evoke a specific role. “This is not possible to achieve when you work with fabrics. Finish using this garment? Recycle it to produce new material and print a new garment!” explains Peleg.

“My journey with 3D printed fashion started five years ago when I studied fashion design at Shenkar. As a student, I was always curious about exploring the relationship between fashion and technology,” states Peleg. “I loved customized designs that I could make with all kinds of fashion technologies, like laser cutting, digital printing, and knitting machines. For my thesis project, I decided to research 3D printing, especially desktop size printers.”

As Peleg continues to expand her designs, many of her creations revolve around the usage of non-fungible tokens, known as NFTs. A NFT is a digital asset that represents real-world objects such as art, music, and videos. Consumers can purchase and sell these tokens online, which are frequently intertwined with the likes of cryptocurrency.

Through the use of NFTs, designers have the ability to gain immediate and efficient access to their 3D designs. “NFTs will unlock the actual 3D-printable files of the pieces. Once collected, the consumers will be able to print the garments with a simple desktop 3D printer and can be dressed both on a digital figure and, most importantly, they are wearable by being printed from every desktop 3D printer,” Peleg says.

The process of 3D printing has allowed Peleg to make her mark in the fashion world and show her technological ingenuity with fashion. “Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will revolutionize fashion, specifically digital and 3D-printable fashion. This will enable designers to sell their work directly to customers who will not only use their fashion in the metaverse but will also print and wear them in the physical world,” states Peleg.

“In a couple of generations, we will be looking very differently at the way we do things and wonder why we didn’t change more quickly. I hope more British researchers, fashion brands, and companies will be inspired to think big and bring the digital revolution to fashion,” she adds. As Peleg’s designs continue to evolve, we can only wait and see how other designers will adapt technology to create a more sustainable industry.

Image credit: Danit Peleg