In 2050, procuring a new wardrobe will be as easy as hitting a button on a Xerox machine. At least, that’s what industrial designer Joshua Harris proposes with his three-dimensional garment printer, a concept device that would harness technologies such as rapid prototyping to bring clothing production to living rooms everywhere. Urbanization, he says, is rapidly changing the way we obtain the things we need to live. One major opportunity for change? The clothing industry.
CLOTHING ON DEMAND
“We found the clothing industry to be an extremely wasteful and inefficient use of our resources,” Harris says on his website. “Clothing is shipped to several different places before being distributed to the consumer. Also, its lifespan is only a few years before being either disposed of or repurposed.”
Unwanted garments can be returned to the unit to be cleaned, broken down, and recycled, reducing waste.
A consumer-oriented, at-home clothing printer, he adds, is the obvious solution. Such a contraption would eliminate the hassle, not to mention resources, of shipping. Unwanted garments can be returned to the unit to be cleaned, broken down, and recycled, reducing waste. In fact, Harris imagines his printer replacing whole closets, while dispensing with the need for washing machines and dryers.
By allowing an online-only marketplace to supplant brick-and-mortar stores, the device could also open up new opportunities for apparel brands, according to Harris. “Fashion designers in the future [could] sell cartridges of material and then sell their designs digitally for the user to print,” he says.