People cannot associate fashion with sustainability. But what many aren't able to see behind the glamor is a highly destructive industry which needs to be checked. I believe that technology is a great tool which can be leveraged to solve for this problem.
The project is a concept design for how the industry will look with the incorporation of smart labels.
Sketch, Adobe Illustrator, Principle
Key Skills Used
Research and Synthesis, Wireframes, Information Architecture, Screen UI, Competitive Audit, Prototyping, User Testing, System Map.
5 min Read
Here I learnt about the various unsustainable practices within the industry.
It takes 70 bathtubs of water to make just 1 pair of denim jeans.
Observation & Secondary Research
Currently, the fashion houses are taking up a lot of initiatives in order to combat the problem of unsustainability in the industry.
"We were out of stock for the conscious collection within two weeks of arrival."
Blockchain in Fashion
Currently blockchain is one of the biggest technologies which is going to be executed along with smart labels.
Primary Research - Interview
Interviewed 4 fashion designers, 8 shopping lovers, 2 shopping haters, 2 sustainable fashion entrepreneurs and 1 fashion stylist.
User Persona categories created across different brands on the basis of affordability, with left side being highly affordable and right side being low on affordability.
One of the big things that came up was that people don't understand what the clothing labels communicate in terms of maintenance of the garments which is why most of their clothes go to waste.
I followed by prospective user the entire day. Two things that stood out were first that she really appreciated transparency in the form of cards and second that it was really difficult for to manage her closet space.
After mapping the user journey across 'doing', 'thinking', 'feeling', 'pain points', 'high points', insights and how might we on a spreadsheet, I converted the same into an experience map.
The closet space is a part with most negative emotions and this is where the user needed help with.
Back to Drawing Board
From all the research, two big insights came up which led to two possible directions for the project.
People are much more mindful and conscious of their actions when they are aware about the realities of the industry.
How might we redesign the current retail experience to make it more transparent, sustainable and ethical?
People only use 20% of their closet due to abundance, short term retention, disorganization and lack of planning.
How might we make the retail experience more efficient, mindful, delightful and effortless?
After going through the research again I decided to go ahead with the user needs because I believe that if a design cannot be grounded in the real people and the real problems then its just another art project.
How might we
Leverage the smart labels to make the retail experience more efficient, mindful, delightful and effortless?
Honest and clear revelation of all the information about behind the scenes
Safeguard user’s personal information and build trust, loyalty and reliability
The experience enables the user to reflect upon the actions undertake actions which more intentional and meaningful
The experience elicits positive feelings like gratefulness, self-assurance and delight
After going through the various direct and indirect competitors, mapped the information architecture for one of the direct competitors, Closet Space. There was frequent repetition of content and confusing navigation in both the web and mobile application.
I tested the paper prototype for different user flows and these testing and the user feedback ultimately helped shaped the final design.
My Zen Stylist
A wardrobe planning and fashion styling application.
Your closet in your pocket
Like every other morning, she is late for work. She opens the app and the app shows what she can wear for work.
Sarah gets a notification, saying that a new collection of baseball tops has arrived and it will go well with her blue jeans. Delighted, she decides to take a shopping trip.
She is about to save a black top when she is notified by the app that she already has something similar. Looking at this she keeps back that top.
One morning after wearing her favorite black top for the 20th time, Sarah gets a notification from the app saying that she has unlocked the garment's journey feature and can now view it.
Sarah downloads the application and scans the clothes. She now has a virtual closet.
In the store, she tries on and scans all the things that she likes so that she can purchase them once her salary comes in.
On her way home from store, she gets a message from her friends for an outing. Only she is now running late. She opens the app, adds the filter, and now knows exactly what she needs to wear once she gets home.
3 years later...
Sarah undertakes spring cleaning. She goes to the app and gives up her ownership of that garment. On doing this, she is prompted to the closest recycling units.
A few weeks later Sarah gets a thank you note saying that the clothes she donated have been recycled.
Working on a project like such where I had to balance the 3 Ps - People, Profit and Planet, was really tricky. One of the biggest learnings was how design can prioritize different things at different points in the journey. I learnt to design in a manner where different elements surface at the right time - be it sustainability, mindfulness or promotions.