NEW YORK, May 22 — A ready-to-wear brand in the US is using artificial intelligence to define tomorrow’s trends and fight against waste and overproduction. Using new technologies, Finesse creates outfits modelled in 3D, which are then submitted to customer votes. Only those that gain widespread approval are actually produced. It’s a kind of manufacturing on demand — or almost — that could help the industry reduce its environmental footprint.

Artificial intelligence has already been used in the fashion industry to help brands better manage their inventory and supplies, deal with returns or improve the online customer experience. But this technology evidently still has more to offer. In the United States, the ready-to-wear brand Finesse has made artificial intelligence the basis of its creative process in order to manufacture only what customers are actually interested in buying.

As we all know, fashion trends come thick and fast and are ever-changing. So much so that brands — especially fast fashion companies — regularly renew and refresh their collection(s) to respond not only to seasonal inspirations, but also to current influences, and sometimes even to micro-trends. The issue is not knowing in advance what will sell — and what won’t — and so product drops are multiplied to please the greatest number of people. There are many examples of this, but Shein’s model, offering hundreds of new items per day, seems the most compelling.

Production on demand

It is precisely to fight against this overproduction that Finesse proposes a concept essentially based on artificial intelligence. The brand uses specific algorithms to analyse the most popular fashion trends on the internet, and from these inspirations, it proposes three potential outfits modelled in 3D — thus requiring no fabric — that are then submitted to a public vote. The outfit that wins the most votes is the only one that is put into production, the other two being automatically eliminated.

“We only produce what you want. Vote now and items are ready for shipment within two weeks,” promises the brand on its official website. “We use AI to predict how much to produce, no waste, no overages, and no pollution,” the brand continues. With this system, Finesse effectively only makes the clothes that will sell, and significantly reduces waste and surplus fabric use, while saving on unnecessary production.

However, this alone does not explain the affordable prices offered by the brand, whose clothes sell for around US$20 to US$50 (RM90 to RM220). You simply have to look at some of the products on offer to realize that the materials used are neither sustainable nor responsible. As such, Finesse could yet explore new alternatives to further hone a concept that could well respond to many of the environmental issues associated with the day-to-day reality of the world’s second most polluting industry. — ETX Studio