There are 3 fashion movements happening right now -
The Fast Fashion movement currently dominates the field. Brands like Zara and H&M spit out new styles before most consumers can desire them. Technology like the automated sewing machine developed by Softwear Automation could make this process even faster and more labor efficient. This side of fashion may provide desirable clothes cheaply, but they ignore the fact that 10.5 million TONS of clothing ends up in landfills each year.
In direct opposition to the Fast Fashion movement is the Slow Fashion movement. "Not Just a Label" explains that this movement "encourages taking time to ensure quality production, to give value to the product, and contemplate the connection to the environment." Slow Fashion attracts minimalists, artisans, and environmentalists with its emphasis on producing fewer items at higher quality.
So, which movement will be the future of fashion? Neither.
The future of fashion is 3d printing.
One day you will be able to print out your clothes. Companies like Shapeways are already making money off the capabilities of 3d printers with small objects (toys, jewelry, iPhone cases). And other companies are thinking HUGE with their 3d printers that print buildings and bridges. And then there are the companies trying to print clothing. They are taking different angles, but the one that seems furthest along is Electroloom. They have actually produced something that feels like fabric. And they predict that one day we will not only print our clothes but be able to recycle our old clothes into the new ones.
Oh, I believe that some version of the Slow Fashion movement will stick around - just like some people still take photos with film cameras and some people still sew by hand. There will always be a market for human art and craft. But can you imagine being able to print the clothes you want without any waste? I can.