Complex Textile Products and Reducing Consumer Waste

  • Colin GaleEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 849)


This paper discusses how AI, big data and new textile technologies could provide an integrated solution to reducing the environmental impact of textiles. Together material culture and consumerism have stimulated the kind of ecological impact that has given rise to the definition of the Anthropocene, that point at which our collective behavior has become a force of nature that is shaping the earth. We already acknowledge the environmental impact of fashion and textiles and societies have sought to limit the negative effects through environmental legislation and ethical appeals. However consumerism is universally an element of national economic strategies and personal consumption is, as yet, seen as both economic stimulus and an indicator of social prosperity and well-being. Consequently the mechanisms we have developed for constraining textile waste and pollution are perpetually in opposition to national political and economic agendas as well as the aspirations of individuals. In this complex and dystopian situation AI, big data and new textile technologies may offer a third way for the regulation of fashion and textile consumption. One that offers a set of interventionist strategies and creative opportunities that could alter consumer behaviors and expectations and consequently impact on both textile product lifecycles and retail models.


Anthropocene Complexity Consumerism Products Waste 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Fashion and TextilesBirmingham City UniversityBirminghamUK

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