High-tech style

From Elon’s and Jeff’s rockets to the latest-and-greatest smartphones, technology is advancing at a blistering pace.

However, few people notice the correlation between our growing scientific know-how and fashion.

But like almost every other industry, what we wear is being dramatically shaped by technological marvels.

How? Check out these examples:


This is probably the most obvious example of wearable tech. It started with fitness trackers like Fitbit and Garmin, and was taken to another level when Apple introduced its smartphone-connected watch.

Currently, there are numerous brands making smartwatches that do everything from monitoring your heart rate and sleeping patterns to answering your phone and paying for purchases.

Apple’s latest watch version even will call 911 for you if it detects you’ve fallen or are in distress.

Don’t like the look of those digital faces?

Fashion designers are now getting into the act. Michael Kors and Fossil are creating stylish timepieces that include smartwatch features.


The divide between natural and synthetic fibres used to be quite clear:

  • natural was good
  • fake was yuck. 

In the 1970s, advances in chemistry and manufacturing led to the creation of new semi-synthetic fibres derived from the cellulose in wood pulp. 

Tencel and modal are softer yet stronger than cotton, resistant to shrinkage, and have moisture-wicking properties.

Lululemon and its more upscale off-shoot Kit and Ace use variants of such fibres to create what they call technical clothing, both comfortable and durable. 

More recently, new shoe makers are crafting footwear from innovative and sustainable materials.

Rothys says they’ve repurposed more than 20 million bottles in the past three years crafting their washable (yes, washable) flats.

Allbirds makes sneakers from wool and tree pulp, and their “sweetfoam” soles come from renewable sugarcane.


Made-to-measure tailored garments sound like a luxury, something only available to yesteryear’s aristocracy. Thanks to today’s computer technology, custom-fit garments are affordable and available to all.

Sene Studio clothing company makes bespoke every-day essentials by taking your measurements and fit preferences online.

Because each piece is made to order, the process results in significantly less waste than fast fashion brands.

Have problems finding comfortable footwear? Wiivv created an app to help customers measure their footbed and arches to craft custom-made sandals and arch supports.

You can also design your own unique baubles at Jewlr.ca. The site allows you to choose from many types of metals, real and synthetic gemstones, and engravings for personalized necklaces, bracelets and rings.


Many of these innovative fashion companies got their starts from crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Knix was one of the first clothing brands to raise more than $1 million on Kickstarter with what it claims is the world’s most comfortable bra.

Since their initial success, Knix has expanded their product offerings to underwear and swim gear.

Ministry of Supply, another made-to-order brand, went to Kickstarter to fund their space-age Mercury Intelligent Heated jacket, which uses artificial intelligence to adjust its temperature and can even change your phone. 

A current Kickstarter campaign from Via Design Lab is promoting a 100% waterproof high-top sneaker made from ocean plastics.

If you want to check out the latest tech advances in style, keep your browser bookmarked to Kickstarter’s fashion category.

What’s next?

We are sure to see more innovations in the fashion industry thanks to technology. 

Just yesterday, I discovered that famed speaker-maker Bose has created audio sunglasses with tiny speakers and a microphone built into the frames.

Now, you can listen to music and take phone calls without those ugly headsets.

Will wonders never cease?


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About the Author

Marla is best known for her 19-year career in the local charitable sector as a fund development and marketing manager with the Okanagan Regional Library, United Way, UBC Okanagan, and Kelowna Community Resources. 

In 2014, Marla and her husband decided to take a break from the work world, and, four years, later they are still enjoying Okanagan summers, winters in Mexico, and extensive travel. 

Marla has had a life-long passion for fashion, designing her own graduation dress and formal gown for the 1990 Miss Interior competition before age 20.

In 2014, she was named one of nine Style Ambassadors for a year-long marketing campaign at Orchard Park Mall. Her motto is “Life is short...you might as well go through it looking good."

If you have a style question or topic you’d like Marla to cover in this column, contact her at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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